Change is a constant in our lives, as we know all too well. There is good change and bad change. Sometimes, we can prepare ourselves for upcoming change. And sometimes, it hits us out of the blue with no opportunity to prepare for it. The latter is not giving us much choice in the game; however, change that allows us to prepare has its advantages. When we are aware that it’s coming and we have time to prepare for it, it allows us to condition our mindset, to put things in place, and to get ready to brace for the impact.
We can work our mindset to the point that we have opportunity to properly respond to any impacts that the change may have for us, good or bad, which in turn may give us a chance to turn anything negative into something positive. For example, when our team member left the company, we as a small team had to pick up the slack and run with it to continue to fully serve our clients. Time management became a challenge, and many extra hours of work were invested, almost to the brink of exhaustion. That was a bad impact on the team. But knowing that this was just a temporary situation until a new team member was hired, it instilled strength and motivation to keep going. Then, the new team member came onboard. Training was required to get the new team member up to speed, which put an extra strain on the team’s time management. However, when the training was completed and the new team member was able to pull her own weight, everyone on the team was able to get back to their own “normal”. And as a pleasant surprise, the new team member exceeded expectations, which turned this change into a positive experience, allowing for amazing teamwork and higher productivity.
I believe that there are always two sides to everything, good and bad. In the example above, the bad was the time management challenge due to picking up an additional 33% of the workload for each team member. We were able to condition our minds and prepare for what was coming, because we knew what affects this could have on us. The positive during that challenging time was the learning and the commitment to the team and company. We learned about processes from the other departments and recognized how they connected with processes within our own department, giving us a broader understanding of the dynamics within our company. We collaborated on difficult tasks and solved problems together. So, the negative turned into a positive, plus we had time to prepare ourselves for this change.
Change is emotionally challenging. Especially when change hits as a surprise and we must deal with it at the spur of a moment.
I found that the best way to conditioning for change is to accept the fact that change can happen at any time, sudden or with advance notice, small or major, good or bad. Accepting that fact keeps the mind open for change, and trusting our instincts and proper judgment will hopefully lead to the best possible outcome from the change.
How are you dealing with change?