dealing with change

10 Practical Strategies for Dealing with Change

Already this year, I have talked to many people in the workplace who are experiencing all kinds of changes; everything from company mergers and acquisitions (the biggest one) to job changes, project restructuring, getting a new supervisor to personal change.

I have been speaking and writing about change for 25+ years. It is one of my favorite topics to speak on because everyone has to deal with change personally and professionally. I like to speak about change because I can relate to numerous types of changes and have learned to make change work for me, especially when it is a change I don’t want.

Change is a part of life. You cannot afford to not embrace change. If you don’t learn to manage it, you will be swallowed up by the wave of change. Below, I have listed many of the strategies I have used for decades to thrive on change. You may find that some strategies work better than others depending on the particular situation.

Anticipate
• Guess where things are going, if you can.
• Keep your ears and eyes open. Know what is going on around you at work, in your community, with your family.

Prepare
• Gather relevant information. Stay Informed.
• Make specific plans for the upcoming changes so you feel more in control. Be active, not passive.

Visualize
• Imagine yourself in the new situation.
• Look for the good. With change comes both danger and opportunity. See both, but focus on the opportunity.

Accept the change
• Don’t fight change that is inevitable.
• Be flexible.
• Get on with your life; don’t procrastinate.
• Do something that makes you feel good, something that gives you a sense of achievement.
• Learn to adapt as quickly as you can.

Get support
• Share your feelings with a trusted friend or a family member, someone who will let you cry or laugh, and who will listen. People can’t always give you the answers, but if they really listen, sometimes that is help enough.
• Look for someone who will encourage you, who can lift you up, inspire you, and spur you on.
• Read inspirational and motivational materials. Listen to audio tapes regularly and attend seminars and workshops that will educate and inspire.
• Seek spiritual support.

Hang tough
• Visualize yourself with your feet dug deep in the sand while waves of change come over you. They get stronger and the wind blows harder. Finally, the calm comes and you are still standing. You have survived the storm of change.

Go easy on yourself
• Don’t be too hard on yourself when you are feeling down or can’t adapt as quickly as you had hoped.
• Catch yourself doing things well and reward yourself.
• Take care of yourself. Enjoy outside interests and relationships.

Keep the best of the old
• Try not to make several changes at once. In other words, don’t change careers, move, and get married or divorced all at once.
• Hang on to the good things or people in your life as you move through change.

Look at change as an opportunity to grow
• Tell yourself, “I am just stretching right now.”
• Be confident that you will return to your old comfort zone or you will find a new one.

Purposely change
• Make small changes occasionally to become more comfortable with change. Take a different route to work, change your set at the dinner table, or sleep on the other side of the bed.
• If you have children, create small changes with them so they will learn to cope with change more easily.

Wishing you a great week and Happy Memorial weekend.

Joan Burge

“Change is not the enemy, but rather a constant force that occurs every day to shape the future and things to come.” – Peter R. Gerber

P.S. Join us for the next free webinar with Peggy Vasquez. Register and learn more here.

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