As the pace of change in the workplace continues to increase, managing the many disruptions in our lives is one of the most important tasks in managing our careers.
The Challenge of Change
Although we don’t always like to admit it, we seek and want control. We use our past experiences to establish expectations about how things in our life are likely to happen. These expectations provide a sense of control, comfort and confidence.
Change is challenging precisely because it disrupts our expectations – it creates a new reality that doesn’t match the expectations we have created. This causes us to feel a loss of control – a loss of comfort – and a loss of confidence. Sometimes we adapt well and sometimes we don’t!
The Solution is Personal Resilience
Of all the factors that contribute to adapting to change, the single most important factor is resilience- the capacity to absorb high levels of change and maintain high levels of performance. When resilient people face, rather than ignore, the ambiguity and the anxiety around change, they tend to grow stronger from their experiences rather than feel depleted by them. They use their “change muscles” to stay focused, flexible and proactive!
10 Tips to Build Your Change Muscles
- Recognize that change is here to stay.
- Understand that loss of control is at the heart of change.
- Reach out to others for resources, perspective and support.
- Know your orientation to change. Is it danger or opportunity?
- Become more conscious of your own response to change. Is it a fight or flight?
- Know your quota for change before it becomes overwhelming. How much and what kind?
- Expect the unexpected so that you are rarely surprised that you are surprised.
- Be ready for resistance, whether change is viewed as positive or negative.
- Hold your focus on long-term goals and priorities not short term hiccups.
- Be open to getting new things done and getting things done in new ways.
Career Success Tip:
The payoff for increased resilience is strong for both organizations and individuals. Organizations benefit from being able to implement changes more quickly and effectively, which gives them a competitive advantage. Individuals benefit from being able to achieve their own goals in the midst of uncertainty with less wasted energy, leading to greater productivity and greater satisfaction.
What can you do right now to build your change muscles? What can you do right now to build your organization’s change muscles?
Do you want to develop Career Smarts?
- For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
- Start with the Career Success System.
- Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
- Fast track your career. Be part of a Success Team.
- Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
- Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.