The Role of Emotional Readiness in Culture Initiatives and Our LivesMar 01, 2023
Change and communication pose challenges for all organizations ranging from small-but-mighty start-ups to Fortune 500, global organizations. There are many dynamics to consider with a new initiative: from planning to communication and finally, execution. Generally, we see that clients understand the importance of each of these aspects and take steps to meet the needs of the organization.
There is, however, one overlooked aspect that requires attention before any new initiative begins. We call it building emotional readiness. Emotional readiness is the state of psychological willingness to learn and take on a new challenge. This willingness starts with the leadership team and effectively cascades through the organization.
An individual, team, or organizational readiness depends on six specific factors:
When we understand the importance of emotional readiness, we can take steps to create an optimal emotional state. This gives us the confidence to engage in new learning and reasonable risk-taking which in turn expands our capacity for change in the future. Over time, our ability to absorb the stress of the “new" can grow, and we learn to do difficult things better, with more grace and ease. Growth and change often feel scary and overwhelming. But when the right supports are put in place, and the entire ecosystem is evaluated for readiness, we can prepare, coach, and manage through change. This encourages growth, learning, and personal accountability and minimizes feelings of anxiety, frustration, or unhelpful stress (yes, there is helpful stress).
We use emotional readiness coaching in our work for:
- Preparing an organization to engage in deep DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) work.
- Change in administration during election cycles.
- The arrival of new leadership and accompanying strategic direction and expectations.
- Scaling an organization that requires executives to change their purview, team size, or work.
- Transitioning into parenthood.
- Becoming empty nesters.
- Accepting a loss, such as the death of a loved one.
- Transitioning into retirement.
- Launching a new leadership program that evokes deep personal growth.
In very basic terms, emotional readiness is our ability to prepare ourselves. We become aware of what will occur and what emotional states we may experience during a set time frame. This does two important things. First, it lowers our anxiety level by normalizing the emotional process. Second, it makes us aware that our emotions are not a new permanent state but will continue to evolve and change. Over time, we feel better equipped to take on new challenges and support others through the process.