Change and I have a love-hate relationship. I understand the need for change. New technology, new coworkers, new work plans help us grow as individuals and organizations. I am not, however, an early adopter.
Recently, I started training for a triathlon and like many triathletes, I’m following a 24-week training plan. Each week, I know exactly what I need to do to be ready on race day. I can also look weeks in advance to mentally prepare how the training plan will change to prepare me to hopefully set my personal best.
But much like life, training doesn’t always go according to plan. Injuries and fatigue can create setbacks.
This past weekend, I attended the annual general meeting of my local triathlon club. The theme of the keynote address was listen to your body.
Good training doesn’t mean following a plan perfectly. You need to listen to your body. Take a day off if you need it. Look after the issue that is causing you pain.
You can imagine the anxiety in the room, full of competitive and driven athletes who have goals, plans, and expectations. The speaker went on to say that you need to look after even the small stuff, like a blister on your foot, which can cause your body mechanics to alter, causing more issues down the road.
Changing the plan doesn’t mean you have given up on training. You’re still working toward your end goal.
I reflected on this insight while taking it a little bit easier with my training on the weekend. I thought about change in the context of my work. Every day, I make plans, whether to visit members, resolve a grievance, or enter into negotiations.
I don’t remember a day that went exactly according to plan. It’s the nature of my work representing CLAC members in various industries such as manufacturing, construction, and road maintenance. An incident or turn of events causes me to change my plans and take a different path, to change the plan.
But I realized that change doesn’t necessarily mean that I'm going in a different direction. It can be a positive step in the right direction to achieve my goal.