The burning issue today, whether you’re in a company meeting, working out at the gym, buying groceries or attending a party is the demonetization strategy implemented by the ruling government. Queues at ATMs and banks, withholding of tolls & fines, free parking are only a few visible effects. While there are masses that support the movement, there are those who are not pleased. Newspapers, forums and social media carry proof of the uproar, both in favor and against. Most of us don’t know how we should be dealing with change or the lack of it thereof.
What we see all around us today is a magnified version of how a group of people typically react to change. The emotions and the resultant actions (or lack of it) determine the following:
#1 How smoothly this transition takes place.
#2 Whether or not the end objective is achieved.
#3 The time it takes to achieve this objective.
Just as this stands true for our country, it applies to our workplace as well. How can we adapt to change better, considering the fact that change is the only constant (clichéd, but true!)? So, how do we implement change smoothly at work?
Let’s start with how we ‘think’.
Read the internal circulars and emails explaining the change. Speak to someone knowledgeable – your boss, colleague, not someone who is talking about their emotions but talking about facts. This will help you understand the need for the change.
Be open to change
A prejudiced approach to change will ensure that the process is an unpleasant one for you. Instead, have a positive, open-minded approach. A ‘how to make it work’ attitude will take you a long way as compared to a ‘this will not work’ attitude. This will be the differentiator between an individual who thrives with change and another who stagnates.
Realize that it’s a process
Change cannot be implemented overnight. It needs time, it will have teething problems which will be overcome with the right attitude. It will settle eventually and then fulfill the planned objective.
A few Do’s and Don’ts
Acknowledge how you feel. Are you anxious, happy, upset, or indifferent? Understand why you feel this why. Is this how you feel or is it influenced by how those around you feel? Are you over-reacting? Take a step back and recognize this.
Don’t play the victim. Avoid the ‘why me’ approach. Realize that you play a big role in implementing the change that the top management desires. Your contribution is important.
How does this impact your work? Take a step back and analyse how this change impacts you. What aspects of your day-to-day work does it directly or indirectly affect and how can you make it even more effective.
What are the challenges you’re facing? Anticipate the fact that there will be challenges. Identify these challenges and explore possible solutions. Ask for help in case you cannot come up with solutions on your own.
Communication is key! Always be open to receiving information, listening to challenges, success stories faced by colleagues concerning the desired change. Talk about your observations. This will help you learn from your colleague’s experiences and implement/avoid similar situations.
Look at the big picture. Change, in an organisation, is introduced as a step to take the organisation to the next level. Don’t let petty inconveniences hinder your contribution to your organisation’s growth. You shouldn’t miss the macro picture so that dealing with change is not overshadowed by confusion.
So, the next time there’s a new initiative at your workplace, how will you react?
On a lighter note, with the ‘need for change’ that the country is feeling, let’s remember, Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. ~ Robert C. Gallagher.