How to handle constant change: a case study
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” The consensus today is that change is even going faster and faster. New technologies, global communication and new generations make that changes in all expects of our life happen continuously. If you want to or not. Sometimes we struggle to accept these changes in our personal and/or work life. Obviously, you can work on the specific situation and try to find a solution for it. But in the long run it’s better to improve how you handle change in general. This way you’re better equipped to handle changes you can’t even foresee yet.
In 1on1 coaching’s we tackle these kinds of questions. Often the original question is a case where a new task or role brings new challenges. When we can we scale up and help to deal with this situation, but also prepare them for new changes in the future. This happened with an HR manager in sustainable energy organization. She worked there for 9 years, but a restructuring of the support departments brought great changes in her role. She was struggling to find her new place in the management team and felt a lot of resistance while doing so.
- Made her understand that handling change is a process. You can’t (sadly) flip a switch and accept the changes that came on your path. It takes time, certain steps and the right guidance to get there. If you can accept that you’ll have the right mindset.
- Used positive psychology to look at her new role from a different angle. It’s easy to see the negative side when faced with a new situation. Researching what the threats, but even more important the opportunities are will help you look different at the situation. Some things you can control, some you don’t. If you can focus on the positive things you CAN control, you’ll feel much more in control of your own future.
- Helped her create an accepting mindset for change. Because with every change that you’ll encounter, you can always at least control one thing: how you react to it. Nobody forces you to be sad when you’re caught in the rain. It can be annoying, but you and only you decide how you’ll feel about it.
- Set SMART goals. SMART goals are such a well-known but effective way to get to grip again on a certain situation. The HR manager used the SMART goals to find things she could do and reach those goals.
After only two meetings with the HR manager she already felt her attitude had changed for the better. She was feeling in control again and had a plan how to handle the new role changes and knew what to do. In the following coaching sessions, we focused on setting goals, and helped her further understand what her possibilities were. When we finished the coaching, we evaluated the process she went through, and secured the knowledge how to handle changes in the future.
Are you struggling with changes in your life, please contact us for an informal chat.
BY ARTHUR POP
Senior Trainer – Consultant