Change management is not an oxymoron. You can change change by changing the way you look at it and changing the way you respond to it.
How often have you heard your co-workers say: “We don’t like change!”?
But in reality, there are changes that most people enjoy: vacations, new cars, new clothes and new babies. Change isn’t the problem. The difficulty is caused by how we focus on it.
Look at change from a different perspective. See it as a challenge and not as a threat. Also, try to see impending changes from the perspective of your customers and co-workers. We live and work in a world where change is the only constant. Changes make life interesting—things would be boring if everything always stayed the same! The key is to learn how you can effectively respond to the changes you encounter.
Change is inevitable, except from a snack machine! Handle it by working to anticipate and manage the inevitable loss that is felt when changes happen.
Make no mistake about it: Change means loss. It typically causes us to feel less certainty and a less control.
A manager’s biggest mistake when implementing change is to assume that it will be painless. Change can cause emotional pain that is often directed at the managers and leaders responsible for it. The response to this hurt is often reflected in lower productivity and employee morale. Managers must have the capacity to tolerate the resulting emotional pain projected on them by others.
Loss of certainty
The loss of certainty makes it harder for us to anticipate what will happen. The resulting anxiety and stress make change harder to deal with. We begin to feel unsure about ourselves, our skills, our environment and our trust in the people who surround us when we are faced with the prospect of change.
Loss of control
Loss of personal control is a major stressor. When change makes us less able to control what happens to us, it leaves us with a feeling of powerlessness. We feel that we don’t count, and that we what we do doesn’t make any difference. This one of the main reasons we resist change. Naturally, people want to do things their own way. We are uncomfortable when we lose this sense of control.
Be aware of the sense of loss that changes can bring to your team. In order to reduce the stress, as much as you are able, consult with those affected. Communication and a constructive attitude are the key skills here, and are ways that you can change change