How to manage change featuring Alyssa Conley & Kim Foster Yardley

by Hungry woman at work

A question on everyone’s minds during this Covid-19 pandemic has been, “how do I manage change?” This pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented amount of change for all of us, from school closures and social distancing to business transitions and personal life changes.

In episode 19, Nevelia Moloi speaks to two women who have navigated their way through significant changes of their own. There’s Alyssa Conley, a track and field athlete who decided to sidestep her way off the athletics track and onto the rugby field. And Kim Foster Yardley, a South African psychologist now based in Toronto, Canada, who is a self-confessed queen of change.

We’ll hear from these women how they’ve navigated their way through changes in their own lives – and what they’ve learned along the way. Think of this as your crash-course in change management.

Quotes from Alyssa Conley:

  • I thrive off of challenge and being different. In primary school, I actually ran the men’s leg of the relay cos I was faster than the guys. The guys would say, “You don’t belong here” and I’d say, why are you scared of me?
  • I think the disappointment of not being taken to World Champs and being left behind with no real reason really got to me.
  • The 26th of March was the first time I touched a rugby ball.
  • I don’t think I did it for myself, really, I think I did it for women in sport because a lot of women think that they can’t do something because maybe they don’t have a background, or don’t see a future for it. I wanted to show them that I’ve been running for 21 years and the first time I touched a rugby ball was 26 March 2019, and I possibly will play some games for SA. So if I can do it, why can’t you? It’s just literally something that you have to believe in
  • I think that’s the main reason I did it, to be an advocate for women in sport and whomever it motivates even if it’s just one person, I’m happy.

Quotes from Kim Foster Yardley:

  • The thing is that, we have this idea as women we’re supposed to be self-reliant, we’re supposed to do it on our own, and that is complete rubbish actually. We’re not supposed to have all the answers and actually it’s in our communities that we find the answers and the support that we need.
  • That whole process was quite difficult. If anyone has been through emigration it’s not an easy process.
  • There are quite a few of them that I see with my clients but the one to do with change, firstly is the negative attribution bias. Naturally our brains seek out what’s going wrong. So That makes change a very frightening thing cos immediately our brains will go into high alert thinking, what do I need to be on guard for, what do I need to watch out for?
  • I think that the thing to remember is how we develop resilience and how we develop grit, is by having a flexible mind. And actually when we’re open that way and we are restful we actually become more open to opportunity and more creative.

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