How do you Navigate Change at Work?

Shriya Sarang

1st Mar'23
How do you Navigate Change at Work? | OpenGrowth

The question of the hour is: How do you navigate change at work? We are constantly surrounded by change. Be it simple or complex. It's planned and unanticipated. When the word "change" is mentioned, most individuals run away from the subject or action. Because change is something businesses can count on happening, I've been thinking that a new narrative has to be developed around the subject. This narrative should make it easier and more enjoyable for business leaders to navigate change.

According to research, people make judgments emotionally before rationalizing them with reasoning, even the most calculated leaders. In other words, we now understand that our conscious mind's function is to rationalize rather than to be reasonable. The same is true of change. Understanding the advantages of change is not enough; we also need to arrive at the same emotional conclusion.


Leadership and Change Management

Change typically occurs because it feels better than remaining the same. Change may appear to be difficult, but it actually isn't. After that, we develop rational justifications for the change.

However, this sets a very high standard. Because we know we will survive no matter how awful things get, it is in our evolutionary best interest to favor the status quo. Of course, there are things we can do to help change feel better—using visualization, cultivating an attitude of gratitude or acceptance, focusing on the "sharp points," as Pema Chodron advises, etc.—but getting past our ingrained resistance to change is frequently too challenging, and we give up despite our sometimes heroic efforts.

When change eventually occurs, pain is frequently its catalyst. When staying the same hurts too much, whether it is the physical pain of touching a hot stove or the emotional pain of having our work rejected by a client or investor, we change most successfully and consistently. In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis stated that "We may dismiss even pleasure. But discomfort incessantly demands attention.


What are the five tips for effective change?

What are the five tips for effective change?

1. Manage your state

To lead in this cutthroat environment, one must acknowledge that change is inescapable.  As long as you accept responsibility for your state, despite your problems, and take advantage of your advantages in order to appreciate the experience, you can smile under challenging conditions. One approach might be to seize the chance by recording answers to the following questions:

  • What employment chances would you miss if you didn’t accept the change?

  • How will the changes at work affect you?

  • What would it cost you if you passed up the chance?

  • You can determine its significance and develop the confidence necessary to accept it by asking these questions.


2. Make good use of your time.

Time is a limited resource. When the moment occurs, it is over and cannot be recovered. It matters how you spend your time and energy, particularly while you're adjusting to a change. Each nanosecond matters. Align your energies so that you spend your time mindfully. To achieve this, define time management objectives. You may be able to devote more energy to making effective judgments as a result.


3. Focus on what you can control

Knowing how much control you have over a situation is crucial. You can find simple things you can do to make the process easier by putting things into perspective.

If change is unavoidable, take a contemplative stance. More discomfort and acceptance of the fact that some things are out of your control will lead to peace than fighting a losing battle. Change is not a setback, but an opportunity to grow and learn.

Pay attention to what will bring you results. Ask questions like:

  • Do you need new talent to carry out your duties and accomplish your role?

  • Do you require new training?

  • Exists another position that would be more suited to your knowledge, abilities, and experience?

  • Make appropriate decisions based on what you can control.


4. Check to see if you're stuck.

When you are at halt, it is obvious because neither you nor your company is moving forward or backward. Because stagnation results from being stuck, you must be able to identify it when it occurs. Challenge the status quo because both individuals and businesses need to evolve. When new or innovative ideas are not generated, a company risks being overtaken by its rivals.


5. Refuse to lead change by rejecting perpetual negativity

The worst advice is to talk a lot about your worries, rage, and dissatisfaction. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, repeatedly expressing unpleasant emotions slows your natural ability to adapt. That's not to imply you should bury or suppress your emotions so they won't surface when least expected. Instead, notice your feelings of stress, annoyance, or rage and note how they are affecting your relationships and way of thinking. Look for facts because everything else is just a tale you have made up. By revising your narrative and seeking out doable actions, you can change your attention from being solution- and future-focused to problem-saturated. Learn more about understanding Ethics in Leadership.


The Hurtful reality of Meaningful Change

Change is fueled by pain. However, the pain is still awful. Then what? Knowing this allows us to actively participate in our own transformation, despite the unpleasantness.

Humans dislike suffering, which is why so many leaders evolve more slowly than they'd prefer. So when we experience sorrow, we turn away, numbing ourselves to the same thing that will eventually transform us. When someone rejects us, we may swiftly move on to the next work, ignore the hurt or numb the ache with food or television. We can simply suppress the emotion under the guise of "compartmentalizing."

And by doing this, we deprive ourselves of the transformation we claim to want and instead stay cozy and entrenched. We don't change because we are truly satisfied where we are, but rather because we are unable to acknowledge the true suffering of our circumstances. To really experience it without turning away out of instinct.

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Writing has been my natural get-away and peace-place. Eventually, I have been drawn to the depths of the world of writing with numerous topics which have fascinated me through time like -
- Business and Finance
- Professional Communication and Skill Development

Through writing, I hope to find the bigger and better purpose of our lives beyond the work-life bitter banter and truly feel worth living in every breath.