How to cope with change

Greek philosopher Heraclitus pretty much hit it right on the mark when he said “The only constant is change”. Change is happening around us all the time, in our friends and family, in nature, in technology, our own lives. Some of us embrace change as something that could bring about positivity and others try to resist it thinking that it would be better if things could stay the same, in any case change is inevitable and try as we may it is impossible for things to remain the same.

Managing change and its implications can be extremely difficult and will generally be different for each individual. Relatively speaking there are three different reactions to change and these reactions can apply to people at all levels and status.

The first of these reactions being RESISTANT, this could mean anything from a union and its workers fighting against proposed changes in pay or staffing right through to an individual opposing change. Not all resistance is confrontational and direct. It can also be passive in those who aren’t willing to accept ned ideas and approaches.

Those who are INDIFFERENT view change as something that goes on around them but believes their world will be remain as it was whilst someone else will be affected or will no what is necessary. Generally an indifferent person will avoid the subject until it becomes absolutely necessary and they will usually bear an ‘I can cope’ mentality.

RECEPTIVE & OPEN people will recognise that change is needed to improve things and will realise that change will happen no matter what so they might as well be part of the process on an organisational level.

Change often brings about better circumstances and it is fun to be involved in something different and embrace the possibility that this new path could lead to new experiences and opportunities. However, when you look at it from a short term perspective change can mean loss, discontinuity, and the destruction of a familiar and “safe” way of life. It is all of the above, fear of the ultimate outcome and lack of trust which lead to people rejecting change, but perhaps with a better understanding of why we react the way we do and knowing that no matter what we do we can’t resist change, we will embrace it and in turn better ourselves in the process.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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