By: Deborah Mandel
I’m probably not in the minority when I say this, but “I hate change”. Changes, no matter how small, are usually followed by some sort of reaction from me. I have been trying to work on how I respond to change, so hopefully as my coworkers read this they are thinking to themselves, “no, not Deborah, she’s so easy-going, and accepts change with a good attitude, and doesn’t go home and scream into her pillow.”
As I have become more aware of my reaction to change, and how I respond to any situation, I have realized that your reaction can negatively impact how people perceive you and that is the last thing you want at work. Think about it, out of an office of 25 people, I really only work with or interact with maybe 10 of those people on a regular basis. So that means that 60% of my office has formed an opinion about me solely based off of how I speak in staff meetings, maybe how I dress, and my day-to-day attitude. So when they announce some big, new development at my office, I want to make sure I react appropriately and give the best impression of myself.
Here are a few tips and tricks for dealing with change that I’ve learned along the way:
Take a Deep Breath
Change is hard, especially when it is unexpected. It is important to understand that change will occur, and the more comfortable we get with that, the less stressful and upsetting it will be when we face that change. When you learn that something is changing, try not to react right away. You may say something you don’t mean, or will regret later. Instead, take a deep breath. Studies have shown that breathing deeply will slow the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure. In short, it will relax you.
Voice Your Concerns, But…
Communication is important when change comes around. A large part of the fear associated with change is the fear of the unknown. You can mitigate this through strategic communication. It is important that your supervisor is communicating the details to you so you can determine how it affects you. It’s also equally important that you are communicating your thoughts and feelings about the situation to your supervisor.
Think Long Term
Now, here comes the ‘but’… Make sure to think everything through and have your thoughts organized before scheduling that meeting with your boss. Be sure to mention those things that concern you, as long as they have merit. If your first concern is that you’re unhappy with the impending change, because that means Jenny’s desk is going to be right next to yours and Jenny kinda smells, that is not going to impress your boss.
Think about how this change may affect you long-term, as well as how it can affect the company long-term. This will be your opportunity to express your concerns and strategize how to overcome any obstacles. Your boss will be impressed that you took the time to speak out and they will also see that you aren’t the type of person who is going to sit back and let things happen to you. You want to be involved in the process. Make sure to ask how you can help during the transition, it will be greatly appreciated.
Maintain a Good Attitude
Lastly, and most importantly, try to maintain a good attitude. If you stay positive, it may help others in your office look upon the situation differently. At the very least, people will see how you react and come to see you as someone who can handle anything that gets thrown at you!