How to deal with change
The world within which we now live is certainly different from just 6 months ago. The pandemic has forced us to work differently, interact virtually or from a respectable distance. We are spending more time at home, which is now both our office and our living quarters; and how we shop has changed with more of us now shopping online.
In times of change, we each deal with the situation in differing ways. Generally, they come under three themes:
- FIGHT – Where individuals take it on and demonstrate a thriving visible behaviour such as: being proactive, takes the lead, are comfortable with change, optimistic, aware of own needs. However, this can be detrimental as they could be over fighting: Working too much, therefore causing knee jerk reactions, and might show emotions and get too much in the detailing and planning, as they are a perfectionist and can’t let go.
- FLIGHT – These individuals tend to run away from the problem. They go quiet and are less visible than normal, you may not know their personal circumstances. They are likely to be feeling anxious and fearful, focusing on family vs. work.
- FREEZE – Where people are less able to respond and just ‘freeze’ and make no changes positive or negative.
So how can we ensure we deal with change positively? Here are a few steps to take:
- Acknowledge the change: Don’t get caught up in fighting change, deal with it and embrace it. There is no point in getting stressed about the things that are out of your control, focus on the things you can control and adapt to the things you can’t. If you accept the change mentally, you are halfway to dealing with it.
- Focus on the positives: From change, comes opportunity. Consider what are the positive opportunities that come from change. For example, appreciate the additional family time you now have at home, or no longer having to deal with the long commute to work. Does this allow you more time to more for you? Start a new hobby, get more active?
- Try to maintain a regular schedule: Having some things that stay the same, like walking the dog every morning, gives us an anchor. An anchor is a reminder that some things are still the same, and it gives your brain a bit of a rest. Try writing down your routine and check it off as you go. It's one less thing for your brain to deal with.
- Try to be healthy: Eat the right foods, make sure you exercise. Both are good for your brain and your body. When change happens, a lot of us tend to reach for carbs such as bread and cake probably because eating carbs boosts serotonin, a brain chemical that depletes when you undergo stress driven by change. Exercise helps boost serotonin naturally, so if exercise isn’t in your regime, try to make time for it. Consider the time saving of not driving/travelling to your office, and use it do a workout in the kitchen or a brisk walk/run around the block.
So, embrace change, consider it a positive not a negative. The principle should also apply, not only to us as individuals, but also as organisations and leaders. Businesses need to adapt to the change, and also consider its employees in how they are dealing with this change. Ensure as a leader your teams are set up to succeed, that you listen to their needs or concerns and provide the support and mindset needed to enable them to embrace the change.
If you want to better deal with change personally, or in your organisation, contact us at email@example.com