The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: “Change is the only constant.”, and the last couple of years were the biggest testament of that. Whether it is on a personal or professional level, the world has seen so many changes over the past years and it will continue to. The business world in itself has seen uncertain and tremendous changes recently, and with that comes a great amount of change that employees might struggle to accommodate.
Saying that change is around every corner and that we need to learn how to cope and adapt to it does not make it any easier. The reality is that as humans, it is part of our nature to fear and even resist change. Our brains find comfort in familiarity and perceive uncertainty as a potential threat. As neuroscience points out, we are creatures of habit, and it all goes back to our need to feel in control and predict what’s coming next. However, nothing in life, let alone in the workplace, works that way, and to lead a more balanced life, we need to learn some tips on how to deal with change.
Here are 10 tips to help you cope better with change at work:
1. Acknowledge and accept that change is inevitable
Acknowledging the change that is currently happening and understanding that nothing is permanent will help you look at things in a more realistic lens. Knowing the facts and recognizing them is the first step in coping with change.
2. What you resist, persists
Resisting change will not make it disappear, but instead it will make things that much harder to accommodate. Always remember that resisting something and refusing to accept it will make things more stressful for you. A huge part of coping with change is having an active coping mindset, which means you are facing the change straight on and looking for ways to deal with it rather than avoid it.
3. Be part of the change
Let us get a little real here, if you do not go for it and become part of the change, chances are you will be left behind. While being afraid of change might be a normal reaction, it is also a chance for employees to stand out and be proactive. Once they start to feel the “wind of change” starting to hit, employees can step up their game and share their own ideas and suggestions. So instead of fearing change, have a flexible and open mindset and embrace it.
4. Make use of new opportunities
The great thing about change is that it usually brings new opportunities with it. The ambitious and open people who are willing to see the bigger picture are the ones who end up making use of these new opportunities. Remember change is not your enemy here, in fact, it might just be your winning ticket to a better position or title!
5. Be empathetic and lend a helping hand
If your workplace is going through some changes, you probably aren’t the only one struggling. Being empathetic with others and helping them deal with new changes can be a great way to help you cope. Shifting your focus from your own fear of change and uncertainty to helping someone else can help you look at things from a different perspective. Remember, in helping there is healing!
6. Ask for support
The same way it can be a great idea to help your co-workers navigate change, you also need to remember that you might need some support yourself. Express your concerns and fear to a friend or trusted colleague, we could all use a little help sometime.
7. Take some time off when needed
Change can be overwhelming at times, and taking some time off to rest and recharge might help some people. When you remove yourself from the chaos and take a step back, you can better see if there is a real threat roaming in the horizon or if you’re just being held back by your own created scenarios.
8. Communicate like your life depends on it
When things are changing, it can get chaotic and things might get lost in translation. Therefore, it is important that you actively communicate with everyone and stay open with your managers and co-workers. By communicating effectively, things will not be misinterpreted and your fear and stress might even be alleviated!
9. Replace your fear with something positive
As cliché as it sounds, try to look at the full half of the glass. Changing your perspective and how you see things can help you focus on what matters instead of worrying on what you have no control on. Every time a fearful thought creeps in, counter it with something like, “what if this works out?” or “what if this change will be the turning point in my career?’”. Remembering difficult situations that you were able to deal with and grow through can also be a great way to keep positive thoughts flowing.
10. Maintain meaningful connections
We all need one another, and some people might be leaving or coming in when change is happening in the workplace. However, always make sure to maintain a good relationship with your previous and current co-workers because you never know when you might cross paths again. Having a healthy relationship in the workplace can also be a great way to make you feel comfortable and know that you have the support of others.
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