Three Mistakes to Avoid When Faced With Yet Another Change
New season, new colors! It’s already October and you’re probably back into the full swing of things. Maybe you came back a few weeks ago after a wonderful vacation to find out that yes, one more change is happening this year. Maybe it’s a new system you have to learn; maybe it’s reorganization; maybe your office is moving; maybe you’re getting a new boss.
Whatever the change, positive or not for you, it brings its share of stress. But it is what it is and sometimes it’s best to work towards acceptance of that change so we can focus on what’s important for us. When facing change, there are a few things we should avoid, and some of it has to do with our view or our perspective of change.
The problem starts when there is no change management process and employees are left to themselves to make sense of the change. In fact effective change management can make a huge difference in the implementation results: 143% ROI when there is a change management initiative versus 35% when there is none. But this, you have no control over unless you are a part of senior management. What you do have control over is the way you look at change and how you make it work for you.
It’s not easy when change is imposed on us, especially when we feel we are “losing” something we cherish. But reality is whether we are thrilled about it or not, the change will still make its way into our lives… we might as well deal with it the most efficient way possible so that we can go back to a sense of peace. Here are three tips on what you can avoid to make it easier for you whether you are a manager or a team member.
MISTAKE #1 – Fall into change resistance mode: remember when email was first introduced? What was your first reaction? Did you embrace it right away? Or did you insist on sending “real” mail? Resistance is a normal human reaction when we are faced with change. Often it comes from not understanding the “why” of the change or what it’s going to look like. That can be scary and create anxiety and stress. The best way to ease that stress is to become more pro-active and go get answers from your managers as much as you can. You may not get all your answers but at least, you will be creating a different experience for yourself and maybe, for your colleagues. For the rest, practice trusting yourself that you will be able to integrate the change.
MISTAKE #2 – Focus on everything that can go wrong: when participating in meetings or conversations regarding the upcoming change, avoid looking only at what can go wrong. Instead try to focus your brain on what can go right, or what new outcomes it can create, or what will remain the same so you get a sense of security on certain elements of the new process for example. It’s good to anticipate what can go wrong if it’s to prevent problems and develop strategies to face it. But if it’s to complain, it isn’t serving you or anybody else. Remember this: when things do go wrong, avoid making others or the organization responsible for everything. Instead try to find ways to participate in the solution. You’ll be perceived as a contributor.
MISTAKE #3 – Talk negatively about the change: it could be either self-talk or talk to colleagues or even employees. In so doing, one can create an environment of negative thinking which will prevent you, and others, from seeing the opportunities in the change. Opportunities can be many: learn something new and interesting; easier process leading to better results leading to more satisfied clients and less complaints; meet new people that can greatly contribute to your professional or even personal life; bring travel, etc.
Next time you find yourself resisting change, becoming aware of it and ask yourself “What do I need to help me navigate this change more positively?” Then go get it!
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