Although change brought about by technology should not be threatening, it often feels like it. Change is inevitable. Sometimes it happens gradually. Conversely, in the construction industry, a seismic shift is taking place spurred by digital transformation and new technology.
Human beings are uncomfortable with change because we experience it as loss. Many of us frame change in the perspective that we’re “losing” the old way because the new way is taking its place. There is a fear of losing the things or processes we currently have and are comfortable with.
Having a fixed mindset is a way to cling to what we already have. Getting comfortable with change requires a mental shift.
To make change less threatening, we need to identify the gains associated with it instead of focusing on the losses. Opportunity and growth always accompany change. When change happens, it helps to refocus our perspective to see the gains instead of the loss so we can feel more in control. It’s more productive to imagine the best that can happen, not the worst.
When dealing with a new technology, we should identify a new habit or skill we are learning because of it. Then we can imagine how that can be put to good use in our life. New technology doesn’t necessarily put people out of work. Rather, it shifts people to new or other types of jobs. Change spurs growth.
When we’re comfortable with the concept of change, we can begin to learn lessons from it. We need to give ourselves the latitude to imagine what the new options are.
In construction, it’s natural to focus on the way change brought about by technology affects our lives. However, it’s important to consider the underlying value that can be provided to people. The best technological advances come from figuring out people’s pain points – what they want and need – then addressing the problems that need to be solved. Core values can be delivered in new ways.
Change creates new opportunities. Throughout history, some of the most powerful innovations that were initially considered threatening were misunderstood. Their value needed to be communicated to people in terms of how this technology could be put to good use. Society’s perspective needed to be altered so we could see the potential gains. We need to be mindful of the gaps that make something seem like it’s not successful. We should consider the data around a change as evidence of whether it is successful at solving a problem.
To some extent, it’s likely that every one of us deals with a fixed mindset when it comes to one type of change or another. Once we can achieve the mental shift to overcome that fixed mindset, we can become comfortable with change. This enables us to lead in a way that benefits ourselves and everyone around us. To be successful in times of change, it’s important to lead with empathy.
Tune in to episode 153 of Bridging the Gap Podcast with Jason Feifer, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine. Jason and host Todd discuss the rewards that come from pushing away from your comfort zone.