Change Can be Difficult to Navigate Through

July 19 maneuver through change

About a week ago I was driving into Toronto for a meeting on the 400 series highways. I was driving along my merry way making really good time when another driver merged into my lane. Usually, this is no big deal however; this driver was going about half everyone else’s speed. I needed to brake to let him in and put my 4-way blinkers on so I wouldn’t get rear-ended. I patiently waited for him to get into the slower lanes which didn’t happen.

This situation got me thinking about corporate change and how some executives and managers see change coming and can easily maneuver through it and yet others insulate themselves from the change. The driver of the car in front of me clearly wasn’t flexible in dealing with change and seemed unable to shift into the driving culture of our lane. I have seen this many times with managers when I’m doing my consulting and coaching work.

Have you ever had difficulty managing change? Have you been that slooooow driver? Frustrating everyone around them, perhaps even creating potential peril because you were frightened or uncomfortable with change? Were you one of those people who has shared with me “we’ve always done it this way” during my consulting work?

One thing that is consistent in today’s world is change. Just as we get to understand one technology or way of doing something, it is time again to innovate. Yes, we can all experience “change fatigue”, but sometimes we just hate innovation and having to learn new ways to do business.

Here are 3 tips to help you shift with the changes:

  1. Identify when you are challenged by upcoming changes. Awareness is always the first step to shifting behaviour.

You will know this when you start tensing up during conversations, you might hear yourself saying a lot of “but, …” or simply be complaining to others in your life that there are more innovations on their way. Another symptom of difficulty with change is when you hold onto something like it’s the best solution ever – and dig your heels in to protect that solution. Or, you get feedback from your boss or direct reports that you are not open – this may seem less obvious so simply reflect on comments that people have made to you recently.

  1. Make a list of the potential benefits of this change. By looking at the situation from a variety of perspectives, you can often shift into action mode.

What other perspectives might I view this upcoming innovation through? For example, how might this benefit the bottom-line? What would it make easier in the long run? If this new way of doing things came into being, how could this solve other challenges that you are aware of? Ask you and your team “what am I not seeing here?” as a way of opening your thought process. This will also encourage your team to shift with the change.

  1. Review past experiences with change to uncover what you have found helpful to embracing that shift? In this way, you can create a road map for future initiatives to help you maneuver more smoothly and effectively through shifts in your work.

Identify what made it easier for you to make the shift into the new methods. Make a list. Then make a list of the ways you have struggled with change in the past. Ask yourself, how could I make these behaviours more adaptive to a new situation? This can be tough to do on your own, so hiring a coach to assist you through your stuck points can be a brilliant way to lessen the stress of consistent innovation and change that we all are experiencing. I’m only a phone call away.

Learning to adapt and speed up into the new lane of traffic becomes paramount to success in today’s fast-paced business environment. Driving 60 when others around you are driving 120 will cause you to not only put yourself in danger but will create peril around you.

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