Coping with change positively: in business and life
Yes it’s probably on your CV, ‘thrives in a changing environment,’ ‘I embrace change,’ we’re all humans, change can be difficult, unnerving and hard to manage. Some change happens slowly and some overnight. In 2012 our office in Uckfield Highstreet was burned to the ground in an arson attack overnight, we know a little about change. This article will discuss how you can cope with change in the business environment and at a personal level.
Why do we fear change?
“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer; it is wanting things to be permanent when they are not”
Nhat Hanh – Buddhist Monk
We are living in very uncertain times in the UK at the moment. Political instability, Brexit and many other issues are making the business environment almost impossible to navigate and plan in. Business loves stability, however, entrepreneurs thrive in more unstable times. There are opportunities to be had in the current climate if you take that approach. Change makes us look at our own positions and holds a mirror up to our insecurities around business and ourselves. We have to accept the situations that we are in and calmly navigate through them to the best of our ability…staying put is often much riskier than embracing the changes we see.
Coping with change in the business environment:
- Acceptance & communication
Don’t put your head in the sand. Acknowledge that change is necessary or unavoidable and then communicate this with the relevant members of your team. Once it is out in the open something can be done, as the old adage says, what gets measured gets managed. You’ll often find that putting your heads together and building a plan to navigate an uncertain future will bring a huge weight off of a business’ or your shoulders.
- Planning & Forecasting
Once you have seen a trend or a problem on the horizon it is time to plan and forecast. Bring together a team to own this piece of work and depending on its subject ensure that key team members with knowledge in this area are involved. Once a plan has been formulated the process of delivering change is crucial to the outcome. Communicating clearly within the business will allay any fears that may be created during this time.
- Flexibility – goals can be arrived at in different ways
Be flexible with your plan. Review it often and don’t feel the need to dogmatically follow it to the letter. Allow space for movement and redirection.
- Keep calm
Change is inevitable, in fact it’s what keeps things interesting and businesses growing. Stagnation is the opposite of change and can create exciting opportunities for businesses, it creates further growth and innovation. Remember if you do the same thing you’ve always done you will keep getting the same results.
Coping with change at a personal level:
Understand that nothing is permanent, and change is inevitable. It has already brought about great things in your life and will continue to do so if you don’t resist it.
- Ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that can really happen?’
Write out a worst-case scenario list and then what you would do in each circumstance. You’ll begin to see that in each case the worst thing that can happen isn’t that bad, and the next action if it does come to that isn’t too difficult. Fear setting as this is called can be a powerful action to help you come to terms with change.
- Be honest with yourself about how you feel and understand why – accept that you are not in control of everything
The Stoics understood that there are things you have control over: your actions, things you can have influence over and things that you have no control over. There are very few things we are in control of these days and that understanding and acceptance can relieve the worry associated with change in your life.
- A sense of perspective
When our bodies are in the midst of stress, we are less able to objectively view a situation and calmly process it. Take time for yourself to quietly think clearly about your goals and opportunities at this time…you’ll start to see that your resistance is built from underlying fears and that they are not so frightening when you bring them to the surface.
If you’re experiencing change in your business and are finding it difficult to cope with or need advice on how to manage your position financially through this period. Please get in touch with our Managing Partner, Melanie Richardson who will be able to have a conversation with you and advise you on the best course of action.
Tel: 01825 763366
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