Earlier this month, we talked about change and the choice to embrace or resist. Some of you have talked to or met my Wonder Assistant, Kathy Hickman. She is bright, friendly and laser focused on keeping my office running in spit spot shape Mary Poppins hasn’t even dreamed of. But I wasn’t so happy when I had to meet her five years ago.
My previous secretary, Lisa, had worked for me enough years to know and attend to my little picayune preferences (it’s part of the law school admissions process to determine whether you are hyper-attentive to details–sounds better than OCD wouldn’t you agree?). So I was traumatized when she let me know that she was moving to Colorado. It was December. I had a lot going on in my life, not all of it good. I had two offices. I was getting my Collaborative practice established. I didn’t have time for this. How could anyone possibly learn all the nuances of client care we’d developed over almost 7 years together? My office would fall apart. These and other horribilizing thoughts swirled in my head.
Kathy answered an ad, we clicked, and she had two weeks to learn a pretty complicated job before Lisa headed west. And while I miss Lisa’s friendship (and the fact that she’s shorter than I–a rarity you know), Kathy has taken the job to a whole new level. Who could have predicted that she would bring a fresh energy and eye to procedures that existed simply because that’s how we’d always done them? Who knew how perfectly she would meet my first criteria for employment, the one right after top-drawer competency: will I look forward to seeing you each morning? In my first response mode, I could only see all the catastrophes waiting.
Kathy and I had her five-year review recently–and if you’re one of those who’ve been cared for by her, you can guess it went pretty well!
While the horrible possibilities are easy to imagine when change comes, next time give some air and space to the possibility that some things could actually improve with this change. Let yourself imagine it may not be only awful. And if you need a bright spot in your day, just pick up the phone and encounter Kathy’s cheery voice. She’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you wisdom,