Many people fear change, although it’s been said change is the only constant in our world today. So wouldn’t it make sense to learn to embrace change, rather than to avoid it?
Perception is everything
How we filter information and how we name or label situations is what triggers our reactions. When something changes, we go through an emotional transition whether we realize it or not—if we perceive change as a threat, we’ll become fearful. If we perceive it as an opportunity, we’ll lean into it. Our thoughts and words are powerful. The way we think about a situation is how it’s going to show up for us.
Change is often disruptive, and for some, traumatic. However, it’s an important aspect of organizational life and essential to growth and success. Those who know how to anticipate change, catalyze change and manage change will find their roles more satisfying and their organizations more successful.
(Source: Managing Change and Transition – Richard Lueke, Harvard Business Essentials)
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Are you change-adept?
Those that accept change more easily typically have these characteristics or have incorporated these habits into their lives:
- Self-confidence—people who have confidence in their own abilities and strengths believe they have the skills to adapt and the ability to move from the old into the new. Make a list of your accomplishments and your strengths and weaknesses—often we focus on our failures, forgetting our successes. Having this list can help boost your self-confidence and give you a more accurate view of yourself.
- Positive Attitude—it’s a matter of perception. Change-adept people view change as positive. They look at it as an adventure rather than as something to be endured.
- Coping strategies—people who have developed healthy ways of dealing with life are less likely to be stressed by change. Problems and challenges are always going to appear; having a toolbox of strategies like meditation, exercise, deep breathing, talking to a close friend and exercise can help you cope.
- Balance—the key to facing problems and solving them. If you have a good balance between your work and your personal life, you’ll respond more calmly and positively to situations. Make time in your day for what feeds your soul.
- Creativity—we’re all creative in different ways. Instead of focusing on the problem, look for solutions.
- Have I accepted the fact that nonstop change is the unavoidable reality today?
- Do I honestly think of the status quo as only a temporary resting place in a time of constant change?
- Do I understand that the continual updating of skills is a requirement of today’s workplace?
- Do I have enough information about global competition and how it is affecting my industry and profession?
- Am I ready to explore new ways of seeing my life and my options?
(Source: Adapting to Change by Carol Kinsey Goman)
The role of leadership is to implement change; any business that is static will soon fall behind. Learning ways to lean into change and to help your team embrace the inevitable can add to your success and that of your company.
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