Constant change has become a day-to-day reality for most organizations. They must adapt to the changing needs and requirements of their stakeholders, often reshaping their portfolio of change initiatives before they are implemented.
The ability to be your best while accommodating a moving change agenda is a must-have skill for leaders, managers and their team members. A challenge is that people must work through their own reactions to disruption before they can effectively manage it. Those who respond with their initial mindset, feelings and behaviours tend to show their worst and accomplish the least.
Here are some tips to help you manage through continual redefinition of change:
Take time to reflect on the change
Everyone goes through an emotional cycle when faced with change. Before reacting, invest time in thinking through the change including the reasons behind it, how it will impact your organization and you and how to best accommodate it.
Talk through your feelings about changes with someone you trust
Gaining perspective is essential to managing change well. Confidants act as sounding boards to test and broaden perspectives and provide more options to consider. Two or three heads are better than one.
Choose your attitude, actions and behaviours
Ask yourself, “What attitude will make the best of this change?” Next, identify the actions and behaviours that demonstrate your attitude. Often, we don’t consider the impact we have on our co-workers’ ability to navigate change. Planning how to be your best will provide a positive example for others to follow.
Focus on what you know
It is common for people to speculate about the implications of a change, especially when little information is available. These conversations can quickly turn negative. To stay productive, focus on fulfilling your role based on what you know; not on what other people think they know.
Ask questions if you are unclear
Lack of clarity is one of the most cited challenges of dealing with change. Seeking clarity avoids incorrect assumptions and wasted effort. Your questions are most likely shared by others and asking them early contributes to a common understanding of what will and won’t change.
Be patient with yourself and others
Change can be difficult and it is normal for people to feel anxious when their environment changes. Giving people (including yourself) permission to be human will reduce stress and minimize relationship tensions.
Be confident in your capabilities and accomplishments
People remember how you behave and act during change far more than the tasks you complete. How you react to ongoing change—attitude, actions and behaviours—will last longer than the details of the changes you face.