A Personal Guide to Managing Change

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1 A Personal Guide to Managing Change Ceridian Training Solutions Participant Handout Copyright Ceridian LifeWorks Services. All rights reserved. 675 Cochrane Drive, Suite 515, Markham, ON L3R0B8

2 1 My Personal Change Worksheet When facing a change at work or in your personal life, it is useful to think about what you can control and what you can t control. Focusing your energy on what you can control will help you effectively manage change. 1. What one major change are you experiencing? 2. What is the most challenging part of the change? 3. What is your reaction to the change? 4. What is one thing that you can control? 5. What is one thing that you can let go of? 6. What two steps can you take that will help you better care for yourself during change?

3 2 The Phases of Change Individuals go through the three phases of change at their own rate and often move back and forth between them. As you read about each phase, consider the strategies that adaptive individuals use to cope. Endings. During this phase, individuals prepare to meet the transition that they face. Typically, individuals experience anger, pain, grief, and even despair. At the same time, they may undergo a loss of identity, structure, control, or meaning. Sometimes people in this phase deny the reality of the situation and refuse to explore alternatives, choosing instead to stay focused on the way things were. During this phase, you have an opportunity to accept and to acknowledge what has changed: What's at stake? What options do I have? Successful ways of managing this phase include having goodbye ceremonies, becoming more flexible about interests and plans, and obtaining professional assistance if you are having an especially difficult time with your feelings or experience stress-related symptoms (trouble sleeping, headaches). Transition/Neutral Zone. In this phase, individuals typically feel disoriented and confused, and may idealize the way things used to be. You may need to allow yourself time to absorb your reality and the accompanying feelings. You can begin to separate from the old patterns and from what's known or familiar. Some psychologists describe this phase as the low point of the change curve or the final difficult times before things eventually bounce back and improve. During this phase, you have an opportunity to gain insight into the past, and become creative about the future. You can ask yourself what you ve learned from the past, and what you want in the future. Some positive ways of managing this phase include training in new skills, seeking feedback and ideas from others, and making long-range, life plans. New Beginnings. During this phase, individuals feel a new sense of belonging and commitment. This is the time to let go of past behaviours and attitudes, to clarify your roles and responsibilities, and to explore possibilities for the future. Take advantage of the positive energy you are once again experiencing. You have an opportunity to focus on your future direction and vision: What do I need to do to make my vision a reality? What progress am I making? What support do I need? Managing this phase successfully involves celebrating successes, praising yourself for taking risks, and communicating your new vision positively to others.

4 3 Tips for Managing Change The following tips can help you navigate challenging times at work and in personal life. Consider your self-talk. Send yourself positive, accurate messages. Correct distortions in your thinking. Reframe. Actively look for evidence of a more positive way of viewing the situation. Force yourself to look for the silver lining in the cloud until this type of thinking becomes a habit. Avoid "all or nothing" thinking. Tell yourself not to place catastrophic interpretations upon actions. For instance, it is counter-productive to say "I'll never find another job," or "This means I must abandon my dream of..." Acknowledge your fears. By naming your fears rather than surrendering to vague dread, you can often clarify the challenges you face, and refute the unrealistic or inaccurate fears that plague you. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. This strategy will help you focus on your future. You are most likely to achieve your goals if they are Specific, Measurable, Accessible, Realistic, and Timed. Identify core values. Rather than looking at yourself as the role you play in your job or as a partner, view yourself as a mixture of abilities and roles. Are you creative? Good with people? Analytical? Generous? No matter what external changes occur, remember that you can always hold onto your core values. Learn. The more you know about your new situation, the better equipped you will be to handle it successfully. Read books or magazine articles, and/or talk to others who have experienced similar situations. Take care of yourself. You can combat stress by getting exercise, taking breaks, eating well, and being kind to yourself. Seek support. Talking to people who are currently experiencing similar changes can be both reassuring and useful for identifying new options. Praise yourself. Congratulate yourself for taking initiative and focusing on what will help you reach your goals!

5 4 Myths & Realities about Change at Work The following information can help you better understand perceptions of change in the work environment. This will go away. Myths It will help if I get upset about this. This is a bad thing for my career. I can just keep on doing my job like I have been. All these problems prove that the changes are bad for the company. Top management knows a lot more than they re telling. Management doesn t care about us. I m not in a position to make a difference. Top management is supposed to make these changes work. They don t know what they re doing. The changes weren t really necessary. Change is here to stay. Realities Controlling your emotions increases your control over the situation. Progress often masquerades as trouble. If the company is changing, you probably need to be changing, too. Problems are a natural side effect of the change process. The odds are that higher management is being as open and straightforward as the situation permits. Management has to make some tough decisions, and it s impossible to keep everyone happy. You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. If you work here, this is your plan. Top managers have a pretty good idea what they re doing, but can t do it without running into problems or making some mistakes. What s necessary now is to make the changes work. Adapted from: The Employee Handbook of New Work Habits for a Radically Changing World and The Employee Handbook for Organizational Change by Price Pritchett and Ron Pound

6 5 Guidelines for Managing Your Job during Radical Change The following suggestions are adapted from The Employee Handbook of New Work Habits for a Radically Changing World and The Employee Handbook for Organizational Change by Price Pritchett and Ron Pound, two experts in change. Become a quick-change artist. Resistance to change is almost always a dead-end street. Organizations want people who adapt fast, not those who resist or psychologically unplug. Commit fully to your job. Career success belongs to those who are committed. If you can t recommit rapidly when the company changes, you probably should seek a position at another company. Buy in or move on, but don t waste time Behave as if you are in business for yourself. Ask yourself: How can I cut costs? Service the customer? Increase productivity? Etc. Stay in school. Lifelong learning is one of the best ways to remain competitive in today s job market. Read, attend workshops, take courses, and accept lateral moves that will broaden you. Concentrate out outcomes. Holding yourself personally accountable for results requires that you think broadly. Set goals. Add value. Prove your work and make a difference. Manage your own morale. Be personally responsible for your attitude. While grieving over personal loss is normal, don t adapt it as a lifestyle. Practice kaizen. Your persistence for finding better ways, for attaining higher quality, and for being more productive is key to your success. Take some ownership of the changes. Complaining is not the same as contributing. If you want to identify a problem, be prepared to offer a workable solution. Take personal responsibility for your career. Develop the skills and habits that you ll need for continued job success.

7 6 Resources: Change Management The following is a selection of some of the resources that are available from Ceridian LifeWorks. Life Articles Dealing with Workplace Change Taking Care of Yourself Coping with Job Loss Coping with Stress in the Workplace CDs / Recordings Achieving Balance The Time Squeeze Managing Workplace Change Booklets Working Through Times of Change

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