Nothing is as certain as change. As Bob Dylan said ‘The times they are a-changing’, and the times are a-changing constantly – both at a macro and micro level. Change is global and change is subtle, in your own life.
The workplace can also seem like a constantly changing place – staff turnover, new leaders, new offices, equipment and systems, and structures.
Your success will depend on your ability to adapt to change and thrive.
When we experience change there are a number of things we might experience including:
Some of the reasons why include:
it is out of our control – we are told what to do
we experience fear/anxiety
we feel powerlessness
we are not sure of the reason or context
we don’t want to sit next to someone you don’t know or dislike
we worry about what it means
we worry about the unknown
If we are experiencing change in our personal lives, change at work can add to your stress levels.
We know from psychology that our thoughts and feelings affect our behaviour, which affect our performance or outcomes.
So if thoughts and feelings about any change are negative, it might produce behaviours like anger, hostility and rudeness, which in turn leads to disruption, reduced performance and team dysfunction.
BUT if you take a positive attitude to change, it might produce behaviour like a sense of anticipation, motivation, optimism and excitement, which in turn will lead to less disruption, greater teamwork and increased productivity.
One thing that never changes is the service level expected by clients – clients don’t know that the firm has changed business structure or has had a new fit out, and frankly won’t care. It is up to you to manage the change and still provide the service clients expect.
So change is inevitable – it is how you react to it that will determine how successful you will be.