Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy
Why do we resist change?
Change is a business fact of life
How do we resist change?
Even worse is to fight, to actively resist change. Resistance tactics might include negativity, destructive criticism, and even sabotage. If this seldom happens at your company, you are fortunate.
Take a different approach to change
Change can be the means to your goals, not a barrier to them.Both fight and flight are reactions to perceiving change as a threat. But if we can change our perceptions, we can avoid those reactions. An old proverb goes, "Every change brings an opportunity." In other words, we must learn to see change as a means of achieving our goals, not a barrier preventing us from reaching them.
Another way of expressing the same thought is: A change in my external circumstances provides me with an opportunity to grow as a human being. The greater the change is, the greater and faster I can grow. If we can perceive change along these lines, we will find it exciting and energizing, rather than depressing and debilitating.
Yet this restructuring of our perspective on change can take some time. In fact, coping with change follows the same steps as the grieving process.1 The steps are shock and denial that the old routine must be left behind, then anger that change is inevitable, then despair and a longing for the old ways, eventually replaced by acceptance of the new and a brighter view of the future. Everyone works through this process; for some, the transition is lightning fast, for others painfully slow.
Realize your capacity to adapt.
Human beings are created remarkably flexible, capable of adapting to a wide variety of environments and situations. Realizing this can help you to embrace and guide change rather than resisting or avoiding it.
Develop a coping strategy based on who you are.
Conceptual Style ? creative and artistic, future oriented, likes to brainstorm, wants independence, uses judgment, optimistic, uses ideas vs. data, looks at the big picture, rebellious and opinionated, and committed to principles or a vision.
Behavioral Style ? supportive of others, empathetic, wants affiliation, nurtures others, communicates easily, uses instinct, avoids stress, avoids conflict, relies on feelings instead of data, and enjoys team/group efforts.
Directive Style ? aggressive, acts rapidly, takes charge, persuasive and/or is manipulative, uses rules, needs power/status, impatient, productive, single-minded, and enjoys individual achievements.
Read once more through these descriptions and identify which style best describes you. Then find and study the strategy people who share your style follow to cope with change:
Conceptual coping strategy ? You are interested in how change fits into the big picture. You want to be involved in defining what needs to change and why. You will resist change if you feel excluded from participating in the change process.
Behavioral coping strategy ? You want to know how everyone feels about the changes ahead. You work best when you know that the whole group is supportive of each other and that everyone champions the change process. If the change adversely affects someone in the group, you will perceive change as a crisis.
Directive coping strategy ? You want specifics on how the change will affect you and what your own role will be during the change process. If you know the rules of the change process and the desired outcome, you will act rapidly and aggressively to achieve change goals. You resist change if the rules or anticipated results are not clearly defined.
Realizing what our normal decision-making style is, can enable us to develop personal change-coping tactics.
How can we cope with change?
Getting at least this much comprehension of the big picture will help us to understand where each of us fits.
2. Do some anchoring. ? When everything around you is in a state of flux, it sure helps to find something stable that isn't going to change, no matter what. Your company's values (whether articulated or not) can provide that kind of stability for you. Ours include the Company Family, Focus on the Customer, Be Committed to Quality, and Maintain Mutual Respect. These values are rock-solid; they are not going to disappear or rearrange themselves into something else. Plus, each of us has personal values that perhaps are even more significant and permanent. Such immovables can serve as anchors to help us ride out the storm.
3. Keep your expectations realistic. ? A big part of taking control of the change you experience is to set your expectations. You can still maintain an optimistic outlook, but aim for what is realistically attainable. That way, the negatives that come along won't be so overwhelming, and the positives will be an adrenaline rush. Here are some examples:
Invest time and energy in training. Sharpen your skills so that you can meet the challenges ahead with confidence. If the training you need is not available through Bowne, get it somewhere else, such as the community college or adult education program in your area.
Get help when you need it. If you are confused or overwhelmed with the changes swirling around you, ask for help. Your supervisor, manager, or coworkers may be able to assist you in adjusting to the changes taking place. Your human resources department and any company-provided counseling services are other resources available to you.
Make sure the change does not compromise either your company values or your personal ones. If you are not careful, the technological advances jostling each other for your attention and adoption will tend to isolate you from personal contact with your coworkers and customers. E-mail, teleconference, voice-mail, and Intranet can make us more in touch with each other, or they can keep us antiseptically detached, removed from an awareness that the digital signals we are sending reach and influence another flesh-and-blood human being.
Aware of this tendency, we must actively counteract the drift in this direction by taking an interest in people and opening up ourselves to them in return. We have to remember to invest in people--all of those around us--not just in technology.
The "new normalcy"
You should take the same approach to the changes happening at your workplace. These are not temporary adjustments until things get "back to normal." They are probably the "new normalcy" of your life as a company. The sooner you can accept that these changes are permanent, the better you can cope with them all--and enjoy their positive results.
1. Nancy J. Barger and Linda K. Kirby, The Challenge of Change in Organizations: Helping Employees Thrive in the New Frontier (Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publ., 1995). This source is summarized in Mary M. Witherspoon, "Coping with Change," Women in Business 52, 3 (May/June 2000): 22-25.
2. Susan Taylor, "Embracing Change," Essence (Feb. 2002): 5.
3. Alan J. Rowe and Richard O. Mason, Managing with Style: A Guide to Understanding, Assessing and Improving Decision-Making (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Management Series, 1987) cited in Witherspoon, "Coping with Change."
4. Emily Friedman, "Creature Comforts," Health Forum Journal 42, 3 (May/June 1999): 8-11. Futurist John Naisbitt has addressed this tendency in his book, High tech/high touch: Technology and our search for meaning (New York: Random House, 1999). Naisbitt co-wrote this book with his daughter Nana Naisbitt and Douglas Philips.
* * *
Copyright ©2005 Steve Singleton, All rights reserved.
Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has been a book editor, newspaper reporter, news editor, and public relations consultant. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.
Go to his DeeperStudy.org for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."
Stress Impacts Your Health
Health Impacts of Stress
Stress Management: How to Handle Rejection - The Power of NEXT
Raise your hand if you have ever been rejected by anyone, for anything, at any time. C'mon, be honest.
Secrets to Aromatherapy II - Psychological Complaints
Aromatherapy is very therapeutic when it comes to healingemotional and psychological conditions. This is because theessential oils from plants contain all kinds of compounds,phytoestrogens and phytochemicals that have the ability tosubtly alter brain chemistry for the better.
The Epidemic of the Eighties is Still Here
Alleviate Stress Without Pills!
We all have it; we live with it daily: stress. As America's #1 health problem, surveys, reports and studies have been done concerning this epidemic. Meditation, massages and reading are some of the many ways for you to alleviate stress levels. Doctors hand out pills; insurance rates go up; you pay to learn meditation, to talk to a therapist or for a massage therapist to give you a massage. Day after day, week after week . . . this is a never-ending cycle. The fact is you need to, and can, control your stress simply and cost effectively.
High Stress Means Low Self Esteem
Do you have the desire for a stress free life? Most people do. After all isn't this why most people are working so hard, to achieve just that? Sounds like a paradox doesn't it, "I'm working hard to achieve a stress free life"?
* The material presented in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prevent any illness.
Stress Management Techniques
Dynamic Guide - How to Recharge Your Mind With A Refreshing Recreational Activity!
Let's face it! The majority of our time is either spent sleeping or working. The demands of our employers and our workspace means that we are all highly stressed. We face one hundred and one problems that demand our fullest attention during the day at our workplace and when we return home, we face domestic difficulties that need urgent resolution.
Learning methods of stress elimination is a vital skill in the modern world. After all, there is no way to get away from stress these days, thanks to work, life, family, the economy, the state of the world, global warming, and an overabundance of people who are reminding you constantly about all of these. Not to mention the fact that you are stressed about everything and you know that stress can cause major health problems, so you are stressed about your own stress! Thus, you need some stress elimination strategies before you worry yourself silly.
7 Tips to Relieve Stress At Work
Do you feel stress at work? Do you carry your stress home with you at night?
5 Steps to Make Stress Your Best Friend
You probably think I'm wacko, but it's true - stress can be your best friend! Stress is actually a positive experience to be channeled to improve your life.
Stress Management: 4 Steps to Massive Stress Relief by Having Fun
Over the years I've collected scores of comics and cartoons about marriage, families, stress and change. There is just something about a good comic strip that can many times explain something much better than I can.
Do you ever feel stressed? Is stress a regular component of your lifestyle? What exactly is stress? What causes it and what can you do to manage and reduce it?
[Emotional Health] Are You Feeling In Control?
When it is all said and done, do you feel like you stay on an even keel emotionally most of the time? Here is a story about how easy it is to lose one's emotional balance.
3 Kinds of Workplace Stress
Workers across America will tell you that stress
Stress Managment and Mastery: 7 Ways to Take Yourself Off Restriction
Q. So many times in my life, I seem to hold myself back from what I want to do. I make great plans and have great intentions, but then end up holding myself back in some way. Do you have any suggestions for changing this?
An ADD Case Study: When the Pace Picks Up, Learn to Slow Down
The fall season signals a shift in most people's minds. The summer is coming to a close, and it's back to school, work, and the other things that we haven't put as much effort into since Memorial Day. Many ADDers welcome this shift, as boredom sets in around August and we long for something bigger to keep us occupied. But while the opportunity to dive into new projects and situations is exciting, it can also become quickly overwhelming.
Stress - What We Say is Half the Problem
Everywhere I go, I hear the same unpleasant sentence repeated over and over again. I think it has to be one of the most frequently used sentences. What is it? - I am sooooo s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.
7 Successful Stress Management Techniques
Everyone needs successful stress management techniques. Easy to learn and easy to implement, you can use them for your own stress management or teach them to help others manage theirs.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|