The workplace is constantly changing and, as such, needs your personal change management. Certainly, some workplaces are more in a state of flux than others, but nearly every workplace undergoes constant change. Sometimes, you like the changes. Other times, not so much. What can you do when you disagree with the changes?
Personal Change Management
First, here’s what NOT to do: Don’t do the passive-aggressive thing by procrastinating, pouting and whining, or “forgetting” to bring important materials to meetings. You’ll undermine your credibility and earn the resentment of your colleagues. It’s immature and totally unhelpful.
What to do?
Acknowledge the change. There’s no point in denying the change. As soon as you acknowledge it, you can start figuring out how to deal with it. Acknowledging the change, by the way, does not mean you agree with it.
Catalog your fears and concerns related to the change. Write them down and also write down what you will do if any of the things you fear actually happen. It’s like having a plan, even though you may not have to use it.
Re-frame your thinking from negative to positive. You are in complete control of how you choose to view the change. If you can’t control the change, you certainly can control how you think about it. Think about how you would feel if you were a new employee and had never known how things were before. Would you have a different opinion?
Be flexible. In today’s incredibly diverse world, people who are most flexible and adaptable are most likely to survive and prosper. When you appear flexible, other people are more likely to want to work with you and speak up for you behind your back. Rigid and inflexible people are frustrating and often get left behind when change occurs. Embrace the change and be a part of it.
Communicate. Ask for a meeting with your boss. In the meeting, ask questions in a non-confrontational manner so you can gain an understanding of why the changes were made and what management expects to achieve by making the changes. Ask how you can participate in implementing the changes and what you can do to be a part of things moving forward.
Do good work. Continue to do your work to the absolute best of your ability. Continue to strive to be the best in the world at whatever it is you do. Take pride in your work, because your good work is part of your reputation which precedes you everywhere you go. If it’s necessary for you to change jobs, you want an outstanding reputation among your colleagues, former bosses, customers, and everyone else you’ve worked with.
Change is inevitable. Often, change is implemented from high levels in an organization and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. You can, however, learn to deal with it in a positive manner that reflects well on you. It’s your choices about how to respond to change that will have the most impact on your life. Even when you don’t like the change or when it has a negative impact on you, you are in complete control over how you respond to the change. To respond effectively to change, be proactive, keep it positive, be flexible, and do good work.
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