Managing Change in your personal or professional life
It is human nature to fear change. Neuro research has found that our brain reacts to uncertainty in the same way it reacts to an error. This explains why our initial reaction to change is resistance. However, we cannot avoid change as it is fundamental for growth and success.
As necessary as it may be, fronting change can cause a lot of disruption to individuals and business. If you are about to encounter a change, resist the urge to resist and take a moment to contemplate these 15 ways to manage change. Remember “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”- Winston Churchill.
- Understand What You Can Control
It is unlikely that you will have complete control but ask yourself if there is anything (even the smallest thing) that you can do to feel more in control. For example, your company is downsizing, you will be moved to a new building where your workspace will be significantly reduced. You do not have control over this, but you can sort through and reorganise your workspace.
- Be Proactive
Be proactive about anything that is within your control. Start by setting some goals or making a list of what action is needed to get results. The more prepared you are the less overwhelmed you will feel.
- A positive Attitude Changes Everything
There is always a silver lining, no matter how small. It is very easy and almost natural to dwell on the negatives, but this headspace will cause resistance which is counterproductive. Take a moment to really deliberate a positive in your scenario, this will take a weight off you to help your mindset as you navigate your change. A lot of the time it is not as bad as it first seems, we just fear the unknown.
- Accept And Acknowledge
Whether you like it or not, the change is going to happen. Recognising and accepting the change is the most productive way to move forward. It might not be comfortable to begin with, but you will get used to it. The sooner you accept the change the smoother the transition will be.
- Familiarise And Be Flexible
Begin familiarising yourself as soon as possible. This does not mean you need to be completely across the change overnight. If it is in the workplace, take action to be a part of the change, introduce yourself to the new manager, visit your new office, look over the new business model- the sooner you are familiar, the sooner you will be comfortable. Understand that not everything is going to go to plan and recognise that there will be challenging times and feelings of uncertainty and frustration. Be flexible throughout the transition process and adopt an agreeable attitude- this will help you manage the teething phase.
- Take One Systematic Step At A Time
Approach change slowly but steadily. Changing too much at once will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Prioritise each action that must be taken to achieve the outcome and work down the list. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Go Easy On Yourself
If you are undergoing a big change in the workplace, be patient with yourself. No manager will expect overnight success during a large change initiative. To reduce your overall stress levels, accept that it will take time to and understand that no one will, or should, expect immediate change.
- Ask Productive Questions
Again, keeping a positive mindset is fundamental to a smooth transition. Write out all your questions, when you have finished cross out any that begin with a ‘Why’, as these are resistance questions. Put the remaining questions into two categories. The first being ‘productive questions I can ask myself’, and positively framed questions ‘logistic questions to ask management”. Spend time reflecting on any questions you have through a change, you have the full focus of leadership, this is a time to shine. The better quality questions you ask the more informed you will be’.
- Communication Is Fundamental
Keeping these proactive questions in mind, communicate with management, co-workers and team leaders about the change. The better quality of questions you ask, the more familiar you will become, and the more confident you feel. Remember to be positive and constructive in your approach.
- Find Your Purpose
Take time to celebrate your skills, successes and the value you add. Don’t loose yourself during this uncertain time.
- Be Considerate
Be conscious that the change will affect other people in different ways. Don’t get wrapped up in the politics or with those that are resisting that change. Keep yourself positive and connect with supportive peers that are embracing the change.
- Keep Up Your Motivation
Continue to do your job to the best of your ability. You will be notified if the work you are doing will change so don’t sit back and wait for direction. You will make a good impressive if you don’t you the transition period as an excuse to be idle.
- Yourself A Break
It is going to be stressful and overwhelming at times. It is important to manage that stress. During the process of change, put some time aside each day to have some ‘you’ time to relax and unwind. Having something to look forward to each day makes a world of difference. I would also recommend taking a close look at your nutrition and water intake over the stressful period and trial some relaxation techniques such as meditation to clear your head.
- Seek Support
The uncertainty of change can trigger anxiety and emotional stress in some. It is important to confront these feelings and find support in someone you are comfortable with, whether that be a family member, friend or trained professional.
- Remember ‘The Only Constant Is Change’
While it is important to accept, acknowledge and familiarise yourself with the change. Keep in mind that the only constant is change. Don’t get too comfortable with the new order, remain flexible and open to new ideas and ways to achieve.
Ferne Eliz King
Love Life Love YOUR Life
Curious about Actions for Your Tomorrow
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My superpower is to ignite change and inspire actions to achieve the imaginable future of individuals and businesses. The first step is facilitating you to unlock your curiosity.