It’s amazing how much human beings truly fear change.
Imagine a life with no change – no adrenalin rushes, no new experiences, no broadened horizons. Change is what improves us, it drives our personal improvement. So, why is a fear of change right up there with death, public speaking and going to the dentist?
In a work sense, it is always fascinating to see how many employees immediately protest and reject change the moment they become aware of it – even when they don’t know what the change is. It’s like there is a default defence mechanism that is immediately engaged as soon as uncertainty surfaces; an underlying assumption that when things become different, they automatically become worse.
There’s no question – when change means job losses, some level of anxiety is natural. In my experience, however, many change situations present positive opportunities. After all, the purpose of change is to make things better! So, how can you deal with workplace change to come out on top?
Here are a few tips to dealing with change in your company to both survive the change, and improve your position in the company:
Within your team or department, try to be a positive presence. Do your best to communicate in a manner that avoids starting fires, and focus on the positive potential of the situation for everyone involved.
2. Participate in the change
Is there an opportunity for you to become an agent of the change? Put your hand up and get involved – make it known that you are engaged in the change process and committed to making it as effective as possible. The more you can participate in the change the better you will be seen by the decision makers. Important note; this does not mean becoming a suck-up to the bosses.
3. Be patient
Waiting for change to be clarified and executed can seem like slow torture, however it is important to realise that no-one wants change to be a long and drawn out process. Regardless of how poorly your management might be implementing the change, you have to maintain your perspective on what sits within your circle of influence. Try not to get frustrated with this process and maintain a positive outlook.
4. Keep on keeping on
The reality is that those who respond badly to change in the early stages are often the people who end up being most negatively impacted by it in the long run. Change processes will invariably lead to an assessment of the worth of each individual to the business. Put your best foot forward and keep working like any other day.