Who is responsible for helping you adapt to change?

Pull a string and it will follow you wherever you wish. Push it ahead and it will go nowhere at all. Eisenhower

What happens if you are the string in Eisenhower’s wonderful quote? Surviving let alone thriving during workplace change is a challenge for some, yet with help and support it is achievable.

All too often the problem is that people are provided with some training but not with the real opportunity and support to put what they have learned into practice in order to develop the new found skill into a habit.

This raises the question of who is responsible for making sure new skills and knowledge are practiced at work – ultimately the answer is you – the person who did the training.

Similarly being able to cope with change at work is a personal responsibility and in this phenomenally competitive world it will remain so in future.

Many focus on the change and the discomfort or enormity of the task to the carried out, and very few reflect on the challenge and draw upon their previous experiences of dealing with similar change situations, they have had before.

Similarly few take the time to ask other people about their views of the change from positive perspective in order to find a way forward. Plenty will speak knowledgeably of the problems, issues and what is not likely to work, often driven by insecurity, fear and uncertainty.

So in order to take responsibility for coping with change:

1. Don’t focus on the past as you cannot change it
2. Focus on the present which can give a sense of reality and help to gain a wider perspective
3. Consider the possibilities for the future which means moving to acceptance and then commitment to the change.
4. Through accepting and committing to one’s own development through training, learning and improving one’s own performance, it is likely that a sense of achievement can be attained and a greater ability to cope with change.

Posted on: October 3, 2012

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Stephen Berry

Former CFO and International MBA lecturer in Business Strategy, now a conference speaker, trainer and author.  Stephen’s employment experience has been in a wide variety of sectors including property, construction, FMCG and plastics supplementing consultancy experience in an even wider field. Having worked in 25 countries on 4 continents, the breadth of examples and applications to his strategy work is considerable.

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