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6 Essential Tips for Leading Through Change by Former HR Exec Stephanie Pierce

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04.17.20
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As I sit and write from my dining room table, I realize I have spent more time in this spot over the last 3 weeks than I have in the last year. It is where my family eats, at least one of my 3 daughters “schools” and, as of late, where I work. That is not a complaint. I am happy to have a place to work and even happier my girls are handling these changes with grace. That being said, I miss the ability to hang with my friends and work with the ModernWell community. 

As a former HR exec and now career and leadership coach, I have spent the bulk of my career supporting corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and moms through transition, re-invention, and change. Over the past several weeks, I have connected with friends working hard to keep their businesses, employees, and families healthy and informed. I listen and offer the best guidance I can. It’s my pleasure to be in their service. It’s the reason I started this business. 

Recently, I was chatting with ModernWell Founder Julie Burton, sharing some insights on leading through change and she said to me, “Steph, you have to share this with the ModernWell community!” It is so like Julie to always be thinking of how she can support others so of course I agreed. Here are the highlights:

1. Write down what you are thinking and feeling. Write it all down. You have so much going on right now and you are doing the absolute best you can. Type it in your phone or laptop, write in a journal…whatever works for you. It will be the holding place for all the things you have learned and all the times you have said “When this is over, I am gonna…”.

2. Focus on the short term priorities. I mean, you are gonna do it anyway so I may as well just say it! Create the list of things you have to do now (PPP & SBA loan paperwork, distance learning prep, etc) and get it done.

3. Take care of yourself like you do others. It’s super common for great leaders (at work and at home) to put their needs at the absolute bottom of the list. Consider this: When you get on an airplane, they instruct you as follows: “Put your mask on before assisting others”. They know the instinct is to help others, especially if we feel they need our help. Just like on the plane, though, the best way to assist others is to first get yourself together. Meditate, rest, exercise, journal…whatever works for you. And if you don’t know what works for you, try something! It’s a gift to yourself and those around you.

4. Listen and Communicate: Yep – both! Listen first. Understand how the people around you are feeling. Everyone is experiencing this time differently. Don’t assume you know how they are feeling or that they feel the same way you do. And once you have listened, communicate. Use what you have heard to develop what you need to say to your teams and employees and yes, even your family. Be clear. Be honest. Be You!

5. Ask for help. You cannot do this alone. Likely, you did not make it to this point on your own so reach out to your trusted advisors. Seek counsel, vent, share learnings. There are people out there ready and willing to help (like me!).

6. Be prepared to evolve. Change and uncertainty can bring out the good, the bad and the ugly in all of us. Be prepared for the possibility that you will be different when we finally get to the “new normal”. You may build skills you did not have before: Resilience, Communication, Empathy. You are evolving, my friend! 

This is a time of change. Those changes will look different for each of us. Be kind to yourself and those around you. We need each other now more than ever! 

Beginning April 20th through April 30th, I am offering 30 minute career and leadership coaching consultations. Sign up at stephpierce.com! 

Sending much love! 

Stephanie Pierce is a mom, wife, connector, community builder, and coach. After a 24-year career at a Fortune 100 company as an Engineering & HR leader, Stephanie re-invented her work life to include both her passion for building communities and her HR expertise. 

Stephpierce.com is all about inspiring women to love what they do and do what they love. Stephpierce.com brings amazing women together in community focused on growing, learning, inspiring, laughing, and doing. Stephanie supports professionals and side hustlers to move forward with intention through networking events, workshops, and personal career coaching. Stephanie leverages her HR expertise & broad network to help you believe in your power and ability to live and work with passion and purpose. 

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