Change is inevitable. We can’t avoid change…nor should we want to.
Our lives change as we grow in various ways. We experience births, deaths, weddings, divorces, illnesses, successes, failures and many more events throughout our life. Change, whether good or bad, voluntary or not, can be very stressful. Regardless of whether the change is planned or unexpected, and regardless of whether it’s a positive or negative change, there is always some element of loss involved. Things will not be the way they were before.
We know change is going to happen, but we don’t know what it’s going to look like. That’s what makes it so scary and why people tend to resist it, because we don’t like the unknown.
Why do people often fear change? Change can be associated for some with fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of the unknown, and even fear of success. Growing research in neuroscience is proving the belief that we, as humans are creatures of habit. We like certainty, because certainty brings with it clarity and predictability. And change is a threat to all that.
How can we best manage the loss or the change? Well, we can either be reactive or proactive. Being proactive will always be more successful than being reactive. Proactive steps are intentional. The good news is you already have many coping skills you use daily (and even hourly) without realizing it. The goal is to start recognizing what you do to manage different life situations and apply those skills to the changes you are trying to make in a more conscious manner.
How to be/and promote proactive behaviors when experiencing change at work or at home.
8 Tips on How to Deal—for Real!
- Acknowledge the change—It’s okay to react emotionally; we are human after all. Be understanding to employees if initially their emotions get the best of them.
- Face your fears—Try to help employees identify what it is that makes changes scary or elicits anger for them
- Limiting other change—It may be helpful to avoid making a large change immediately after another change. Generally, adjusting to a change takes some time, and making multiples changes at once, even smaller ones, may not allow enough time for an adequate adjustment period, which can cause stress.
- Find a new routine—Aid employees in Identifying a new normal and develop a routine that makes them feel comfortable. This can help people feel more in control. In other words, replace the fearful thoughts with something more positive and productive.
- Look for ways to help others cope with change— Encourage employee to help others on their team—this accomplishes two things. It helps individual realize that they are not alone AND it helps to secure a solid team foundation.
- Be part of the change, or find reasons to embrace the change— Initiate a team spirit and rally behind a change. Being more open minded to change can reduce workplace stress, and there are often hidden positives within change, including, acquisition of new skills, becoming more self-aware, learning that you can power through (and even thrive) during a challenge.
- Attending to one's physical and mental health—Promote healthy in mind and body culture will make it easier to cope with changes in life. Sleeping well, exercising, and eating nutritional foods regularly all are beneficial in improving both physical and mental health.
- Taking time to relax. — Encourage employees to take time out to remain calm, leave the office to have lunch with co-workers or promote using their vacation time.
And don’t forget, it’s only when we are outside of our comfort zone that we are able to grow, so change is actually not an interruption but rather, an opportunity.
Click to Download A Four Phase Change Management INFOGRAPHIC for Businesses!
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach easy, practical ways to find more ways to enhance your work-life balance and increase your happiness.
The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
To learn how we can help, give us a call at 866.648.8326.