5 Steps to Dealing Effectively with Change

Change can be scary. Many people take comfort in a routine and knowing what to expect. Changes to routines, rules and requirements create a fear of the unknown which can cause the ‘fight or flight’ response we commonly associate with anxiety. This is true in all aspects of our daily lives, including at work.

All sorts of things in the workplace are subject to change. It could be something smaller like changing the software on the office computers causing a fear of being unable to use them, to something larger like changes to the corporate structure causing a fear of redundancy. All changes can cause fear, so we need to know how to handle changes before they become overwhelming. Here are 5 steps to dealing effectively with change:

  1. Understand the change. This is about ‘knowing your enemy’. The more you know about the change, the better equipped you are to recognising it and accepting it. Do you know why this change is happening? Do you know what this change means for you?
  2. Face the change. Now you have understood the change, it is time to figure out how you might face it. What might the outcomes of this change be? What do I do if this outcome happens?
  3. Embrace the change. Once you have recognised what outcomes may occur and figured out what you might do in that situation, you need to accept it. Is this something in my control? Could good things come out of this change?
  4. Seek support for the change. If embracing the change is difficult then you may need some extra support. Do I need to face this alone? Can somebody help me to work out my options? Communication is key here.
  5. Carry on through the change. Once you have your tools to face and embrace the change ahead, you are ready to go through it. Take it bit by bit and know that it is okay to continue seeking support along the way.

Like many things, our ability to work through change comes from experience and is based on our Resilience. If you feel that Resilience is a development area for you then visit our resilience training online and in-person resilience training.

Katie founded Altruist Enterprises in 2013. Since then, she has grown Altruist into a nationwide provider of mental health and resilience training. Katie is a seasoned public speaker and innovator of bespoke mental health courses. In 2022, Katie won the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize awarded by Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Judge Business School.

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