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Reaction and Response – What Do You Do?

July 23rd, 2014 by Suzanne Sweeney


Recently Windmills was asked to provide support for a group of people facing organisational change, uncertainty and likely redundancy.  For some this was the second time they had found themselves in this situation.  That didn’t make it any less painful or challenging.  Most of us would forgive them for thinking ‘not again’ or ‘why me?’  A fairly normal reaction to feeling that choice and control has been taken away from you.  However, whilst there was no choice over the external decisions that had been made by the organisation it was important that people began to recognise and take control over the choices they did have – their response to the change.  When the event is painful it’s all too easy to get ‘stuck’ reacting to the Walls rather than focussing on the Windmills that can help you to respond positively to the situation.  How did Windmills help people get a new perspective on their situation?


What did Windmills do?  The ‘at risk’ group of 36 employees were offered 2 different – but linked – one day workshops and 1 to 1 coaching sessions, with email and telephone follow up.  We wanted to give people new perspectives on their situation and highlight the choices they had.   The immediate choice was whether or not to take advantage of the support offered by the employer and if they did, how much – everything or just one aspect of the programme.  Most people chose to get some help.


The aim of the first workshop was to broaden people’s perspective – help them view the event in the wider context of their working, learning, playing and giving and to consider the longer term picture.  The second workshop was designed to give people practical support and advice in successful selection for a new role.  The participants were given the opportunity to look at their CVs and think about being interviewed from the employers’ perspective.  The one to one sessions then provided more individualised support and advice and were an excellent opportunity for people to turn thinking and intention into taking control and action.  


What choices did people make?   One individual who was studying for a counselling qualification decided to go into a completely different sector.  She took up a role that would help her gain valuable experience for the future when she would be fully qualified and looking to further her career in that area – building on the learning part of her WLPG blend.  Someone else with a passion for photography began to see this ‘event’ as an opportunity to develop an online business selling his work – creating a new blended area between working and playing.  The choice open to one of the managers was to join her brother’s small IT business, swapping the prospect of a similar role elsewhere doing more of the same for an opportunity to do something completely different.   Despite several positive conversations with her brother she had yet to say ‘yes’ and to take steps to make it a reality.  A Walls and Windmills analysis, during a one to one session, provided the perspective needed to outweigh the sense of risk and feelings of fear and create the excitement and motivation that made her choice seem easier.   There was going to be a lot to learn, creating a large blend and overlap between, working, learning – and playing – she expected to enjoy it!


A final word from one participant, ‘The advice and support from Windmills has been invaluable to me. It has helped modernize and much improve my CV. It gave me an insight into how employers think and the types of questions they might ask in interview. It gave me and my colleagues a sense of optimism and hope for the future. I feel well equipped to go back out into the world of successful job hunting.  I would recommend that if anyone is given the chance to work with Windmills, they grab it with both hands.’

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