Submitted by: Cathy M. Cinko, LCSW
Change is one mainstay in our lives today. Change affects us in our home lives, but also in our workplace. Change is all around us. Change is not only persistent, but it is also consistent. Do we want to embrace change or resist change? Embracing change is an adaptable quality. Resisting change is maladaptive. Resisting change could be perceived by others as being rigid and inflexible. Embracing change, on the other hand, could show others that we are flexible and a team player.
Some people view change positively. This change is viewed as a learning opportunity or growing potential. Others may view change negatively. Change is perceived as something to fear or avoid. Fearing or avoiding change will only prolong the inevitable. If change is feared then sometimes it is important to develop coping skills to assist an individual with embracing the changes. Coping can be defined as behavioral and cognitive strategies to deal with experiences that are perceived as negative.
Coping with change means that you take charge and be a part of the change solution, including managing your feelings. Ask yourself if this change is going to affect you in a positive or negative way. People who have a positive outlook find it easier to engage in the change process. Use positive thinking techniques like positive affirmation statements while visualizing a good outcome. Ask yourself questions: Is this change likely to ease your work load or enhance your skills?
If the change is a perceived threat then knowledge can translate to power and control. Be proactive, and assertively ask for news updates. Being proactive is an important action step to help navigate the changes. The famous self-help book, Who Moved my Cheese, by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard, is an amazing resource for individuals that struggle with change at work and at home.
Embrace change by becoming a change-agent! Remember: change is inevitable!
Cathy M. Cinko, LCSW, is a therapist with the Employee Assistance Program for the Franciscan Alliance hospitals in Northern Indiana.