08 Aug 8 Questions to Help You Move Forward in Any Transition
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu
As a business coach, helping clients manage their many business and life transitions is a critical role! Seriously, as business owners we go through transitions many times…almost monthly and life transitions can be almost as frequent. Think of all the business and life transitions you may have gone through and some that might be coming up….going off to college, getting our first job, marriage, babies, firing someone, raising capital, new careers, hiring new employees for major roles, loss of a loved one or key employee and retirement.
It is clear that managing transition is a valuable skill. So, below are 8 questions to ask yourself as you go through a major transition…maybe all 8 don’t apply, but many will. And at the end, check out my Decision Matrix that helps you think through your options and reach a clear decision.
1. Where am I? – When on the verge of a major transition, you’ll find that when taking an honest look at where you are, goals and desires of being in a different place rise to the surface. Thoughts such as, “I am bored with my job” or “I want to move,” may come to light when facing your current situation with honesty and openness. This step can help you identify the change needed. But beware, often times fear based thoughts surface at this step and we never move forward with our goals.
2. What is my ‘Why’? – Here your goal is to discover your passion, vision, and purpose for considering a transition. Why do you want to make a change? The ‘why’ can be extremely empowering because it gives us insight into the meaning behind our existence. It is essential to our progress because we need the right motivation and the right focus to push us though the transition. Remember the old adage: One changes only when the pain of staying where you are is greater then the fear of moving forward.
3. What do I want to leave behind? – At some point, we all need to let go of all the baggage that we carry with us. What is no longer serving you? These are the things, people, or places we need to release in order for transitions to be successful. Letting go provides us with the space we need to make real change.
4. How do I want to grow? – What aspect of this transition is going to provide you with growth? What new skills or new relationships will encourage this growth? Consider what area of your life is in most need of improvement.
5. How am I going to get there? – Create an action plan. What are the steps that are going to get you where you need to be? And plan some incremental steps…each step doesn’t need to be a giant step…but each step needs to move you forward. This will define the end game and pave the path that will keep you focused and keep you climbing.
6. Who do I want by my side? – Consider the relationships you have and ask yourself which ones will be useful to have by your side during this specific transition. Are there new relationships that will be needed? Finding a mentor, for instance, can be an extremely valuable tool in helping you see your situation from a different perspective.
7. When do I start and how fast do I move? – Get clear on the action plan you created in step 5. Then start to make decisions on the pace, direction, and focus you know will be necessary in making this process as smooth as possible.
8. What does it look and feel like when I get there? – Ahh…Rebirth! Reinvent yourself. Think about the new way of life you are aiming to create and what that will look like. This step should feel refreshing and revitalizing. Visualizing in detail what the end result may manifest as is a vital step ensuring you are headed in the right direction.
Before you begin, remember that all changes are a process and everything you want is at least two steps or more outside of your comfort zone. When you are outside of your comfort zone, true learning and growth happens! So, stay focused, be patient, be flexible, and be creative – but most of all, have fun!
Having trouble making those transitional decisions? Here’s a Decision Matrix you can use to evaluate your options. As special thanks to my old colleague, Frank Mummola, for sharing this decision process with me…I have used it many times.
What type of transition are you going through? We would love to hear from you!