Adapting to change

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

Change is the only thing constant in this world.  It sounds contradictory but it’s true as the song of Jose Mari Chan, would attest to it, that life is a “Constant Change”.  We should learn not to be afraid of change because growth in many areas of our lives can only be attained through change, or the change that we should have courage to undertake, which is to change for the better. What we should be worried and should not do is to change for the worse. Change for the worse is usually chosen by us because it’s pleasurable, when we get hooked with an addictive vice, but it also will make us miserable in the long run.

Most of the changes that happen in our lives take place in our workplace especially if we work for a successful company. It is precisely a successful company because it adopts constantly to the changing landscape of the marketplace.   Here are the tips to an easier, faster and less painful ways to welcome change in our place of work according to Erika Andersen.

  1. Find out more

When an unexpected change comes at us, we often just shut down and stop listening after the hearing “there will be some changes in our department.” But there’s some key information about any change that will help you decide how best to respond. First, ask for more clarity about what the change is – what it means for you, practically.  Then ask why it’s happening, so you get some sense of possible benefits. Finally, ask the person promoting the change what the post-change future will look like – how it will affect the business, the customers, the employees.  Having this key information can make the change start to seem less overwhelming and more understandable.

  1. Difficult to doable

Most often, when we first hear about a change, we assume it’s going to be difficult – that we won’t know how to do it, or that others will make it hard to do. Instead, turn your mind toward how you could make it easier.  Is there someone who already knows how to do what you’re being asked to do, who could help you?  Is there training available? Can you talk to your boss about what it will take?

  1. Costly to rewarding

We also tend to think that a change is going to take away more than it gives us. Or that learning how to do it will take time we can’t spare or that it will hurt our reputation – that we’ll look bad trying to do something we’re not used to doing. The change will seem less daunting if you can also focus on how it might be rewarding: maybe the new way of doing things will take less time, once you’ve learned it, or will solve a problem that you know customers have been complaining about.

  1. Weird to normal

One of the worst things about change is that the new way of doing things just feels weird. Anyone who’s ever had to learn to drive a manual gear vehicle as an adult after having been driving automatic for some time, for instance, or assigned to a radically different job feels that “this just isn’t what I’m used to.”

Making a change feel normal is an important way to get past our hesitation, and sometimes the quickest way to do that is to find someone you like and trust who underwent the same change and to share with you what feels OK about it to them.

  1. Practice makes perfect … or at Least OK

And finally, perhaps, the most important way to get comfortable with a new way of doing things or thinking about things, is to do it.  And then do it again.

If you think about anything you’ve learned as an adult – from swing dancing to speaking another language, to using a new social media platform – you probably remember the day when you had practiced enough that you suddenly thought, “Oh, this isn’t so hard.”  Once you’ve gotten some basic information about the change and started to look for ways it could be easy (or at least doable), rewarding and normal, take a deep breath and just jump into trying it out.

The phrase “status quo” (no change) in Latin really means “the rot we are in”.  We need to embrace change because it is the only path to growth and adventure and the antidote against boredom.

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