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Cassandra Worthy: Let’s Change ‘the Way We Think About Moving Through Change’

By Sarah Kamp
February 26, 2024
3 minute read

The workplace is always changing and evolving, but change itself is also shifting. Rather than occurring in predictable linear phases, change is now constant. 

“Today’s reality is that change is layered, it’s stacked, it’s nondiscriminatory … and it’s all the time,” says Cassandra Worthy, founder and CEO at Change Enthusiasm Global. “We have to alter our perspective, and the way we think about moving through change, as it being this infinite, nonlinear phenomenon.”

Cassandra has personally experienced countless changes, which led her to develop a framework for not just managing it but also recognizing it as a growth opportunity. Cassandra will share her Change Enthusiasm® framework during her keynote presentation at EmpowerHR Americas

We talked with Cassandra ahead of her presentation to explore ways you can embrace change in your life — and how to help your workforce grow through this constant evolution and emerge stronger.

Face emotional power head-on

The accelerating nature of change requires a new approach, especially when leading employees through change. Cassandra’s mindset of Change Enthusiasm® calls for embracing difficult emotions like fear, anxiety, or frustration, rather than suppressing them. 

“We have to face that emotional power head-on, and arm ourselves with a means to use that emotion, that energy, that infinite resource that we all have,” Cassandra says, “as a tool to fuel us, to guide us and move us forward, to accelerate our change and growth.” These feelings, which Cassandra refers to as “signal emotions,” empower us to choose our response to change — including whether we use it to grow.

By being aware of our signal emotions during change, we can use them to recognize opportunities and take control. “When you have an entire workforce, practicing this mindset on a daily basis, that self-actualization, that agility, that resilience is there, and they’re using those emotions,” Cassandra says. “It’s not negating them, you’re not ignoring them, you’re not telling people to suppress them. Let them exist, and let’s use them.”

Listen to the signals

Cassandra’s framework not only recognizes signal emotions, but gives people a framework for the emotions to be expressed in a healthy, useful way.

Cassandra has lived by this framework in her own career, and readily shares examples from her own life – including the time a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate was acquiring her employer, putting her executive job at risk. Cassandra’s emotions were already high, but that event brought everything into focus. 

“It was in that moment of acute awareness of my mouth being dry, and the fact that I was in a state of panic, that I practiced the mindset of Change Enthusiasm®,” she says. “These emotions are here, and it means that I’m in a moment of opportunity. I can choose how I move forward, how I take this data, this news that I’ve just heard, to move myself forward in a way that I can grow.”

And that’s exactly what she did. By leveraging her skills and network over four months, Cassandra created a new role that was a better fit and used her skills more effectively. 

Harness emotions to drive growth

The first step in Change Enthusiasm® is making space for your workforce to experience signal emotions. But your people also need help interpreting those emotions and how to move forward. “It’s a matter of not only holding that space, but asking the questions to empower the individual into the choice that they’re going to make, into the action that they’re going to take, to move them to that next best feeling,” Cassandra says.

Cassandra suggests a unique coaching framework she and her team designed called a S.I.G.N.A.L Session™, which is a more productive alternative to venting sessions. S.I.G.N.A.L. sessions rely on active listening to help people recognize what they’re feeling and channel those emotions into action items.

“It’s a very pragmatic and framed conversation that’s very productive and action-oriented, as opposed to just being in that downward spiral that a venting session often invites,” Cassandra says. Instead of the leader dictating the next steps, she adds, “The S.I.G.N.A.L. session empowers the individual to make the choice.”

By embracing emotions, actively listening to understand challenges, and empowering individuals and teams to take action, leaders can guide their organizations through even the most difficult changes when encouraging growth.

Want to learn more? Register to hear Cassandra’s keynote at EmpowerHR Americas.

Hear Cassandra at EmpowerHR