Building Positive Responses to Change
by Tony DiLeonardi
It's the start of a new year and may be a time for
changes to your business. Some changes are well
received and viewed positively. Other changes are viewed
negatively and not received as well.
American inventor Charles Kettering once said "The world hates
change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."
As the insight of someone with over 300 patents, observing Mr.
Kettering's advice may provide us, as well as
our clients with productive ways to deal with responses to
Below are four approaches from our "Embracing Change"
workshop that you may find helpful personally when dealing with
change. They are also tactics you can share with your
clients when facing change:
Vent: Emotions don't disappear
and it's healthy to vent. Help them identify techniques to express
their frustrations. Just be sure the venting period doesn't
last too long.
Normalize emotions: Ask clients
to look at how others may feel in the same situation. Based on
these observations, have them assess whether their own responses
are normal or overreactions to a situation.
Expand the "what if": Instead of
fixating on just asking the "what if" questions associated with
change, turn it into a productive exercise. The secret is to
have clients take the "what if" questions all the way until they
come up with plans to deal with the feared outcomes of change
rather than be paralyzed by them.
Get beneath the anger to the real
feelings: At best, anger can be distracting. By
getting to the REAL emotion, clients may be more effective in
dealing with the feelings and focusing on productive responses.
Rather than focusing on the challenges posed by the change they are
facing, find areas for opportunity.
Create perspective: Discuss
ways to put change into perspective such as distracting activities
or taking a time-out.
Build confidence: Help them
discover meaning and purpose during times of change by learning to
focus on their own identity. This exercise can help them to
see the forest for the trees and put problems into perspective.
Establish a plan: In line with
the old proverb "He who fails to plan, plans to fail," successful
individuals operate according to a plan. This step is always
important, but can be critical during times of change.
navigating change requires energy. Help clients find specific
ways to recharge themselves through hobbies, music or other
activities they may find energizing.