How Do You Handle Change?

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Find the Keys to a Successful Change!

INSIGHT OUT By: Adina Morris

Have you ever heard of the phrase “All new beginnings are hard?” Whether it is starting a new job, transitioning to a new professional role, getting married, moving, making new friends, having a baby, or embarking on a new stage in  life; all new beginnings are just that, new and therefore can be hard. That is why many people dislike and even dread any kind of change. 

It is not so much that change or new beginnings are bad and therefore they are hard. It is rather in the newness and often unknown that change often brings, can therefore make new beginnings often quite challenging. It is not that we are unqualified or incapable of being successful. In fact, many times we are quite suited for the new role, and maybe we were even hand picked for the new position. I like to think we are all actually hand picked by a greater, kinder Hand for every situation we find ourselves in, especially the ones we may not have envisioned for ourselves. Even so, it can be really tough when you are just starting out. 

There are new team members, supervisors and direct reports to meet. There are new personalities and idiosyncrasies to get used to. There is a new culture and new protocols to learn. There is a new schedule and list of demands to become familiar with. Change affects every aspect of our personal and professional lives. It’s not called the learning curve for nothing!  Because when you start anything new, it takes time to learn a new system. I like to call it the “new normal.” Each time we had another child, I would tell my husband, “well, now this is our new normal!” When I opened my candy shop or went back to work in an office, it was a new normal.

You see, we all have systems in our lives. There can be a system for taking care of household needs, work systems, even relationship systems. It is how we make it through our waking hours to be productive, and even choose not to be productive in order to recharge;) and how we interact with the people in our lives. We depend on these systems to help keep us functioning and effective in all the things we manage and juggle every day. 

When our systems are challenged we need to go back to the drawing board and rethink all of our systems. This can be really tough. We like our old systems! They worked for so long and so well! But, they are no longer optimally working, and that is the problem. So we need to create a new structure and system that will be optimal with our new normal.

There are three major keys to success here: 

The first key is in recognizing what the change is and how it will impact you and everyone and everything around you. 

The second key is cracking the system: getting used to all of the changes and becoming one with it until it is so comfortable that it has become your new normal.

The third key is in cracking the system in time before another change comes around!

So let’s go with the first key, as the other two are dependent on the first. You see the first part is recognizing what the change is and what it’s long tentacles touch. Then you need to figure out how those things touched will be affected by this new change. Once you are aware of the changes that will take place and who and what will be affected, you can then start working on recreating a framework that will work with your new normal.

You will look at how the old system worked and identify where tweaks will be needed to be made in order to accommodate the changes. You will start to form your new system. 

Now for the next key, you need to get used to the new system! Crack the system!

Cracking the system is not as hard as it sounds! You do not need to be a master code breaker or super sleuth! Rather, what you and those around you do need is lots of time, patience and understanding. Give yourself a break! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there are few things that you can quickly turn around and upside down in a day and land on your feet and not your head! 

As we head into the new school year, and many are heading into longer work hours as summer winds down, take a step back and breathe. Remember that things change each year and there will be many new normals throughout the coming months. Take each one in stride and work through the keys to unlock your success to handling change like a pro! Need help unlocking your potential? Let me know how I can help!