8 Essential Skills for Managing Change in the Workplace
Navigating change is no easy feat. In a recent study conducted by Forbes & Towers Watson, only 25% of change management initiatives are successful over the long term. And according to an article by Change Designs, one of the top reasons why change initiatives fail is because people simply don’t want the new strategy or change to be successful.
Ultimately, how well you adapt to workplace disruptions depends on you: Are you ready to change? Are you ready to be a Change Leader?
Successful Change Leaders are adaptable and creative in managing change. They understand that change is inevitable and that they have a choice in how to respond. In this way, they are able to effectively face and manage change by having constructive internal monologues.
Dealing with change can be innate; some people have a greater capacity for managing change than others. But, as our great Wellness Director, Karla Chin says, we all have the capability to expand our growth mindset. We all have the ability to change ourselves.
Here are the 8 tips for improving your skills in managing change:
1. Know Yourself and Spend Time Reflecting on your Own Core Values and Mission in Life
A sense of purpose is essential to success. Take the time to develop a clear idea of what you are doing and why you are doing it. This is one habit you can build that will help you become more resilient. Those without a clear idea of what they are doing will not have the foundation to keep going or to help lead others in the face of change.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Speak up! Ask clarifying questions when you have them. If you are going to be a successful Change Leader, you need to be able to listen actively and understand the change initiative and its implications in detail so you can see it’s overall purpose and present that information accurately to your team. In an article written by Goals and Achievements, ineffective communication is the number one reason why change programs fail. “The problem might not be with what is said but listening effectively to differing views and ideas.”
3. Acknowledge your Feelings, Accept Uncertainty, and Be Optimistic
Life is inherently uncertain, so don’t waste your energy trying to predict the future. Tamar Chansky, author of “Freeing Yourself From Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You Want” says that the first step towards adjusting to change is accepting it. Accept the emotions that you are going to have, and keep reminding yourself that the adjustment to change is only temporary.
4. Focus on Life Outside of Work
“Your job is not your whole life” says Chansky. Knowing that will help protect your self-esteem when going through a rough patch or a change initiative that you aren’t particularly bought into. Spending time on hobbies or with friends and family can help you rejuvenate for when you do have to come back to difficult work adjustments.
5. Keep Fit and Healthy and If You Need To, Ask For Help!
Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. This will keep your energy levels up. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Sometimes a change pushes you beyond the bounds of what you can handle on your own. Seek help if you feel like it’s affecting your health or well-being. Adopting tools to manage the stress of those changes can help make the transition easier to accept.
6. See the Big Picture and Empower Self-Talk
As I mentioned, change is inevitable, but if you can take a bird’s-eye-view of the big picture, the change won’t be so disorientating and you will be able to keep perspective. Avoid creating negative scenarios that may not even occur and focus on the evidence at hand. Recall times when you were able to overcome obstacles to build yourself up.
7. Don’t Ignore It
It’s easy to avoid dwelling on a big change, but ultimately you’re just avoiding the problem, and it will be there waiting for you eventually. “When you face your fears and act, even if you don’t get what you want, you’ll feel greater self-confidence and control,” says Career Coach, Phyllis Mufson.
8. Be Flexible and Take Control
Success is usually more to do with tenacity than genius. Be persistent and take control. Successful people keep going in the face of change, finding new and creative ways to achieve a positive outcome. If you are unable to achieve success one way, try another, and then another. Keep looking for more creative solutions and innovative responses to problems.
So ask yourself now, are you ready to take on change?