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Preparing for Change

Some of the people I work with are facing the prospect of going back to working in person after a long stretch of virtual work. Isn’t it funny how we manage to eventually adapt to a situation that has changed? I doubt any of those people would have dreamed that they would consider leaving the house and working in an office with other people as a major change in their life.

There is nothing permanent except change. ~ Heraclitus

How well do you adapt to change? The hardest type of change is that which is completely unexpected. This is the type of change that suddenly occurs and you didn’t have a prior warning or the opportunity to influence the change.

Some examples? One day you come into work and your manager has left or a software program has been replaced or your office has been moved to a cubicle.

But what about the changes you might see coming? There are changes that come with a little warning. For instance, an announced merger between two companies or a change in your job responsibilities. Do you prepare for these types of changes? If you did, would that make the transition easier for you?

Reviewing Your Relationship With Change

1. The first step is to review your relationship with change. How do you usually react to change?

We all have our own change tolerance- some people immediately push back from change and others embrace it. Which are you? How do you feel about change when you are faced with it?

2. The next step is to review and reflect on our past change experiences.

Since the pandemic, we can definitely say we’ve all experienced extreme change. What have you learned from past changes? Do you remember the first couple of weeks of quarantine? What changed for you? How were you handling that change?

Some of us dealt with our stress by going into a rabbit hole with Tik Tok or youtube baking trends, banana bread being one of them. Others decided to take it out on home workouts or buy home workout equipment. Either way, all of this may speak towards how you may react to a big change next time.

Often we face change thinking it will be bad but change can often result in learning. What lessons have you learned from past change experiences?

The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King
Anticipating Change

Although we can’t always know change is coming, there are times that we can anticipate what change we might face in the future.

Just as a project manager considers potential risks to a project, we can consider potential changes in our life. This can be done at regular intervals- maybe twice a year or every quarter. This allows us to also tackle one of the main issues people have with change––the lack of control. This doesn’t give us the ability to adjust or avoid the change but doesn’t allow us the ability to try to anticipate and plan.

List out what you consider to be the changes that you might face in the near future. Consider all personal and professional changes. Describe why you think the changes might occur and when you expect the changes to occur.

Planning Ahead

Just as project managers consider possible risks, they also consider responses to possible risks. How can we respond to possible changes? Sometimes the only way we can respond is through focusing on the one thing we can control--- our mindset. But sometimes we can consider other ways we can prepare ourselves.

For instance, if we anticipate our manager might change jobs in the next year, how can we prepare for that? Perhaps we can ease into the transition by beginning to document what we do in the position on a daily or weekly basis. We could also think about how we would like to present ourselves to a new manager and to build a relationship with them.


* Actionable Success Steps

Use these Actionable Success Steps to prepare for changes.

  1. Consider your usual change response- do you immediately push back against changes or do you embrace change? What lessons have you learned from past change experiences?

  2. Take an inventory of the possible changes facing you in the immediate future.

  3. For each possible change identified, create a list of things you can do to prepare for the change before it happens.

Learn More

The Growth Group Academy currently provides instruction to strengthen your success skills. We can utilize our resilience to help us prepare for future changes. Check out our Sustaining Resilience course by clicking here.

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