Weekly tips and stories that will help you do your job and make you smile (or groan).
By Jerry Virta January 27, 2022
“I'd like you to meet someone”
Why introducing a process to your company is like taking your new gay lover to a family dinner
“It’ll be okay” you whisper to yourself. You take a quick look at him to make sure he looks flawless. And boy, does he. You can’t help but smile out of pride. You’ve practiced together the whole week. You know exactly how to introduce him, how to paint him in the right light. You’ve looked for all possible ways to make them excited about this and come up with an answer to every imaginable question. You’re ready. You will make them love him. Breathe. Here we go. “Hey, everyone. I’d like you to meet someone”. The atmosphere gets restless. You feel a droplet of sweat running down your forehead. You wonder if they can hear your heart racing. You know you have to win them over, no matter what. You start your introduction, trying your hardest to appeal to them by telling an obstacle-ridden story about how you two got together.
You’ve looked for all possible ways to make them excited about this and come up with an answer to every imaginable question.
You’re ready. You will make them love him.
“That’s not how we did it back in my day,” mumbles your uncle who still drives a 1978 Saab. You’re prepared for this: not everyone likes or understands change and some do their very most to prevent it from happening.
You refill his glass while gently flooding him with stats and facts to show him why “back in the day” might not have been better — firmly assuring that the change is necessary. You choose your words carefully; not using negatives when describing the old days. You look around and catch a pair of looks of mild confusion. Not because your speech is unclear or incomprehensible but because of an internal conflict. See, some of the dinner guests have heard of a similar thing happening to their friends or seen it on television but when it’s happening in front of them, they get uncomfortable.
You know that it’ll take some time and they’ll get the hang of it eventually. I mean, once these individuals have processed the information, they may even become advocates of you two. You look at them with encouragement, silently letting them know that it’s okay. Take your time. An excited stare tickles your temple. On the opposite side of the table, you have your support team, the cheerleaders that literally can’t wait to get to know him. They think what you’re doing is cool and inspiring and they rush to you with advice, ideas, and movie recommendations appropriate to the occasion.
You smile through the overwhelm and promise that they can be involved in follow-up conversations over pink, sugary cocktails. Under the table, you squeeze his hand a little tighter. And then there are the newest additions to the family, oh, the empty canvases. Absorbent like sponges with so little resistance. You need to bite your tongue not to greedily turn them into your minions. This genuine curiosity toward the new acquaintance puts your mind at ease. You smile and sigh. There’s hope.
Now, picture “him” in this story as the new process you’re extremely proud of. Introducing it to your colleagues is scary and requires patience. You’re exposing something dear to you, something that you believe in, to others — with the possibility of disapproval. Will it be easy? Oftentimes no. Depending on the size, age, and culture of your company, bringing in this change can be a hill or a mountain, but hardly ever a walk in the park. I’m lucky that the company I work for consist of a forward-thinking bunch of pom-pom-shakers. However, I still have to defend my processes through a variety of tough questions and comments. The unknown is not easy to comprehend and change can take some time. I like to keep the communication open and give everyone the opportunity to share their feedback and concerns. This is a great way to reflect and improve. You can read more about my approach in this blog article. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is: just keep the introduction going and show everyone why you fell so hard. And they’ll learn to love it. Just as much as you do.
Let’s talk about it together!
Share your thoughts on LinkedIn using #thecravediscussion This week’s topic: How do you deal with change? Do you recognize yourself from the archetypes in this story?
- Staying with the family theme, I was absolutely taken by Disney’s Encanto. The storytelling and heartwarming message, the out-of-this-world animation, the stunning music – chef’s kiss. Big recommendation to anyone, no matter what age 🌺 Caution: might cause mild obsession.
- If you have hard time finding the confidence to voice your opinions and stand your ground at work, How to Build Confidence at Work by Ann Howell is a great read and provides you with some handy tips 💪🏻
- I just started reading The School of Life by Alain de Botton (I'm late to the party, I know). I was hooked immediately and am excited to learn what's yet to come 📖
About the author
I’m Foleon’s content governance police and quality gatekeeper. Besides telling people what to do, I enjoy creating written and visual content, wandering in nature, and consuming trash tv.
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