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5 Powerful Ways To Confront Change In The Workplace

Posted by | August 16, 2017 | Change, Workplace

Via Forbes : 5 Powerful Ways To Confront Change In The Workplace

The American workplace is changing at a rapid pace that’s rarely been seen before. New technologies, combined with an influx of millions of millennials into the workforce, means change is inevitable.

Are you prepared to handle it?

Change is Inevitable

As they say, the only constant in life is change. The business world is the perfect example of this, where technology, ideas, and theories are continually evolving. At times, all of this uncertainty can be overwhelming, but you can’t let it frustrate you. Change is what ultimately drives growth, so you have to be willing to accept it.

“Humans are programmed to like certainty. We’ve all had times where something that ‘should’ have happened doesn’t and we all know that feeling of annoyance that creeps up. If what happens is something we really didn’t want, well, annoyance blows into anger for some,” says James Kessick of Netpicks, a trading platform that helps traders deal with uncertainty.

But why do we get annoyed by change? Kessick says it happens because we, as humans, love the illusion of control. “Look around you – the human race has devised an infinite number of devices and contraptions with the idea of controlling the previously uncontrollable.”

Until you recognize that change is going to happen, and get over the frustration that comes with it, you won’t be able to effectively manage your business. This isn’t to say change is no longer problematic after you learn to accept it, but it does become easier to deal with.

5 Tips for Managing Change in the Workplace

From a management and leadership perspective, managing change is a major challenge. Not only is technology advancing at a rapid pace, but the infusion of millennials into the workplace means ideologies and approaches are changing. There’s an entirely new perspective on what work entails and the role people and businesses play in carrying out particular tasks.

1. Prepare for Multiple Outcomes

It’s impossible to know what the future holds. The very nature of change is such that you can’t predict or control what happens. Having said that, the best thing you can do is stop trying to guess what will happen. Instead, you should place as many small bets as you can on a variety of different outcomes. While you’ll miss on some of them, the idea is that the change you do account for will ultimately benefit you more. By preparing for multiple outcomes in a scenario, you’re essentially hedging your bets. You’re ensuring that you don’t get caught in a situation where you’re unprepared or unable to move.

For example, let’s say you’re currently dealing with the idea of flexible work scheduling. Instead of suddenly allowing all of your employees to work from home whenever the please, it would be smarter to experiment with some different options. Let certain employees work from home once a week and others full-time. Then, let another group try flex scheduling, where they can choose the hours they come into the office. Some of these techniques will prove ineffective, but the fact that you’re accounting for multiple outcomes in the short-term ensures you’ll be able to find the best outcome in the long run.

2. Quiet Your Limbic System

Are you familiar with the limbic system? According to entrepreneur Travis Bradberry, “The limbic system responds to uncertainty with a knee-jerk fear reaction, and fear inhibits good decision-making. People who are good at dealing with uncertainty are wary of this fear and spot it as soon as it begins to surface. In this way, they can contain it before it gets out of control.”

Fear is a big part of change. Once you’re able to deal with the fear component of the equation, your decision making will naturally become more rational and calculated.

3. Get Over the Pursuit of Perfection

How many mistakes do you think you make on a daily basis? Five? Ten? Fifteen? Between little things and big responsibilities, we’re all making a handful of mistakes on a daily basis. According to research, the average person will make 773,618 decisions in a lifetime. Of those decisions, 143,262 – or nearly 20 percent – will be regrets. In other words, you aren’t going to be perfect – not even for a day.

The sooner you get over the notion that you can or should be perfect, change will come easier. You’ll put less pressure on yourself and be more willing to confront the challenges and decisions that await you.

4. Prioritize People Over Processes

Having processes in place can help you deal with change, just as certain mathematical equations can be used to help mathematicians solve unique problems. But ultimately, an equation can only do so much. The same is true of business processes. You can have processes in place to handle unique challenges, but it’s the people behind these processes that matter most.

When confronted with change, a computer program or piece of software is only going to do so much for you. You really need to have strong relationships with people you can trust. Together, you can use your collective knowledge, experience, and creativity to tackle these new issues. Prioritize people over processes and you’ll be better off almost every time.

5. Know Your Limits

As previously mentioned, you’re human and can’t be perfect. Once you realize this, you’re free to confront the fact that you have limitations. Recognizing your limits isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s a sign of self-awareness. When you know what you can and can’t do, you’re able to hand off certain responsibilities and processes to other people who are better prepared to handle a specific element of change. It can be humbling to do this, but it’s usually what’s best for the company.

For Best Results, Confront Change Head-On

The American workplace isn’t going to stop changing. If anything, it’ll evolve at an even faster rate moving forward. Naturally, your tendency will be to retreat. The status quo is much more comfortable and the majority of people prefer to keep things as is. You can’t resist change forever, though. At some point, change becomes inevitable and no business is immune.

The smartest thing you can do is confront change head-on. Picture yourself as a kick returner handling a kickoff in a football game. If you catch the ball, stand there, and wait for the kicking team to reach you, you’re going to get hurt. You may even fumble the ball and give it to the opposition with good field position. However, if you catch the ball and start running full speed ahead towards the kicking team, you have more options. Even if you aren’t able to evade the defenders, you’ll at least be able to hit back and deflect some of the force.

Change is scarier when you stand still. There’s something about moving towards it that gives you some semblance of control. As you deal with change in your business, remember to take action and do your best to set yourself up for success.

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