How to deal with changes positivelyChen Wan Lim
Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus once said, “Everything changes and nothing stands still”. Another famous quote which is often used is, “The only constant is change”. Yet, one of the biggest fear of men is the fear of the unknown. This is especially true in the workplace where operating procedures change, organisational structure change, job descriptions evolve and people get shuffled. Changes are sometimes good as change brings about efficiency which is crucial in today’s highly competitive world. Changes in the workplace often happen without the consent of everyone as the decision is made at the upper management level. Here’s how to deal with changes positively:
Analyse the changes
Take a step back, contain your fear and misconceptions and analyse the changes before drawing any conclusions. Ask yourself questions such as how does the change affect you? To what extend does the change involve you? Will the change bring about positive or negative outcomes? What is the worst that could happen should the change be implemented or if the change fails? By answering those questions, you can draw positive conclusions and take appropriate actions without panicking and risk making regrettable decisions.
Level of control
Next, determine whether the change is within your control or something that is beyond your control. For example, a type of change that is within your control is the type where you will need to give your consent for that change to take place – ie. being asked to assume additional roles outside your core competencies. A type of change that is not within your control is being retrenched due to bad economy. If the change is out of your control, then take it as a positive step for you to learn and grow and be receptive of it. Accepting the change will bring you peace of mind.
In analysing and determining the level of control of the change, always be objective. Think about the problem/issue/change rather than the emotions you are having in relation with the change. Having said that however, you should not suppressed your anger, fear, disappointment or resentment. Deal with those emotions in a positive manner first before confronting the change. Mixing unresolved emotional struggles may cloud your judgement and cause you to make wrong decisions. After you have dealt with your emotions, deal with the issue at hand by being objective and mechanical.
Look at the bigger picture
Change is often uncomfortable and painful, but necessary. Try looking at the bigger picture. Try looking at the end goal of the change and the difference it might bring at the end of the day. Once you understand why the change is being proposed and implemented, then you will start to accept it for the greater good. It is always tough to deal with changes in the early part of it but constantly reminding yourself of the end goal will provide you with the motivation to persevere.
Be reminded that professionals today are expected to be nimble and flexible, having the ability to take on multiple roles requiring multiple skill sets. This is why more professionals are upskilling by enrolling in MBA programmes and after work night classes in order to increase their skills and job marketability. Therefore, be flexible and receptive of new things that may come your way. This way, your colleagues and supervisors will feel happier working with you and you will feel happier at your workplace too.