Change is all around us, the planet and universe and everything in it is in a state of continuous change, life is full of change and nothing can stop or escape it. Change is inevitable.
Change sometimes becomes stressful and hurts because it pushes us out of our comfort zones. When a person's expectations or daily rituals are challenged, the brain automatically gets in a "fight or flight" situation, which causes us pain and discomfort. But change doesn't need to be difficult nor for the worst. Nations, societies and organizations must evolve and change to survive and so must every individual within themselves.
People who are successful are those who see change as an opportunity for improvement and consider it the only option for the future. To be successful you must convert the negative feelings of change into positive energy through effectively managing the change process.
What is change management?
Change management is the way you deal with a change. It refers to establishing a well-planned methodology for responding to changes in an individual's life: in the business or working/living environment.
Good leaders are those who come up with ideas and methods to help themselves and other individuals adapt and accept changes in a positive way.
Here we will look into some tips on how to effectively manage change.
- Understand that change is never over. In order to better cope with any situation we must understand that change is always there in our lives. Always be ready to grasp any opportunity it brings with it. Change could be around you without you realizing it, be it in your job, relationship, living environment or anything-you name it. Look for clues and trends and analyze your situation in the coming couple of years. If you do suspect something, get prepared for it.
- Manage with your head, not heart! Balance between your actions to bring change. Don't let your emotions fool you or take the lead. See what impacts the change will have on others, on the organization, on your life and your environment. Don't go too far to either extreme to create change; see both the positive and negative aspects of the change. Plan on your time and resources that you will need to effectively bring it. Overcome any negative feelings and fear that you might have in your mind regarding the change.
- Begin the change process. Find out the purpose of the change. Recognize the benefits of clearly understanding the purpose for making a change. Distinguish between change and transition. In a given scenario, determine whether change is necessary at all. Categorize your planned actions within the time frame for the change. Research enough to help you plan and recognize your priorities. Create written policies, standards and procedures to define techniques to be used throughout the process.
- Lead the change process. Recognize the benefits of leading the change process. Actively participate in implementing your plans and achieving your goals. Use different sources of power to lead change in a given situation and direction.
- Be constant and focused during the process. Evaluate and review your progress and determine what areas need adjustment, more attention and more time. Remain focused on your goals and never let go of them. Never give up due to temporary hardships and/or stress.
- Don't aim for perfection. Expect to make mistakes, no one is perfect and so will you make mistakes. Try to learn from them and alter your strategies and goals to meet your criteria.
- Assess the end result. See where you stand in the process, what you have achieved of your expected results, how much more time you need to achieve your desired goal. If you have already achieved it, is it satisfactory to you and to those affected by it?
Change, either on an individual level or an organizational level does cause fear and stress in everyone affected by it, but those who are open to it, overcome these feelings, recognize the opportunity and manage it well are the leaders.