Cursing, I drop the rubbish bin.
Imagine, the stupid bin was empty even! Doing your back in is normally my husband’s domain in our household. But now, in the few weeks between the summer holidays and leaving for a term in the UK, the honour befalls me. It drives me mad. I can’t do anything while I have it and I can’t do anything about it.
I don’t even understand why this happened.
Although…. Could it be because I am now literally in an ‘in between’ time?
Shortly after the summer break we are off to the UK with the kids for four months. This requires quite some practical rounding up ánd preparation. And mentally too: letting go of the ‘normal’ and familiar to set off to a bit of time and surroundings in which most is still unknown.
So is it the infamous ‘liminal phase’ that’s bothering me? The ‘betwist and between’? The odd in-between-time, in which the old isn’t there anymore, but the new hasn’t materialised yet either?
Thinking of it, the physical pain I experience now, and the rather demoralised feelings….
It looks an awful lot like what we see in organisations going through a change.
Small scale changes, when there are a few changes in a team for instances. But even more so when they are dealing with full-scale changes like a reorganisation or, more positively, trying to introduce a new work approach.
This bit of time sucks. Everything is a mess, nothing just goes how you want it to.
Just like clients going through this phase, I want it do be done NOW.
The chaos between the old and the new is painful. Literally.
An dit is such an recognisable part of ‘real’ changes. Changes that come from within (3.0 changes). More so, it is the phase in which change happens, because patterns and habits are all coming loose. Which creates space for something new to emerge.
The most important thing to do in this phase is enduring and embracing the discomfort. Don’t try getting through it too fast to get rid of the awkwardness, instead try ‘holding the space’, and be comfortable with not knowing.
That is where learning and developing takes place. Creating the change.
It takes staying with it instead of trying to solve it.
Now that I am confronted wit hit myself, I feel in every fibre how tricky it is. Time and again, I want to get up and go again, resulting in getting back to square one. So that even an empty (!) bin can throw me over again.
Just like in organisational changes, when a decision is forced because ‘we really have to move on now’. Alas. ‘Go straight back to go, you will not receive £200,-…‘
Only when, after a lot of struggle, I give in to it, I start feeling better.
Both physically and mentally.
Just like happened with the Senior Leadership Team who grudgingly accept they are not going to find the perfect new structure fort he company anytime soon. And manage to be OK with that, so they stop fighting the lack of competence they feel about themselves.
The consequence? Within a few weeks the basic setup for the new structure emerges naturally. Without a lot of fuss or trouble. All they need to do is notice how people solve the lack of a good structure themselves. Who would have thought?
After being in the UK for a few days, I suddenly notice that my back is all fine again.
There I was, doubting if it really could’ve been down to the stress of our liminal phase.