3 Strategies for Embracing Change

On a practical level, we all know change is inevitable. On an emotional level, a great many of us would prefer to run from it. Research from the Gartner Group shows that while 96% of executives are in the midst of organizational change, only 1 in 3 feel equipped to manage it successfully. So if the idea of workplace change fills you with dread, you’re in good company.

But once you learn to navigate change and leverage it for professional and personal growth, it doesn’t seem as daunting. Since you can’t hide from the inevitable, equip yourself with the tools you need to emerge successful on the other side.

#1: Understand yourself

Individual response styles are both varied and contextual. According to CRR Global, there are three common response styles to change. Identify your own style to gain a more control of an unfamiliar situation. When change is afoot, how do you respond?

  • The leaper: You jump for change! You’re excited by it and see potential in it. You love exploring all of the possibilities, but you might get impatient if the change doesn’t come quickly enough.
  • The bridge builder: You’re not against changes, but you want to make darn sure thoughtful decision-making is a priority. You tend to observe firsst, then ask questions that add value to the process.
  • The tradition holder: You like things the way they are, so may be cautious about change. You want to protect the things that are already good.

#2: Understand others

Once you understand your own response style, you can successfully navigate change in collaboration with others. Talk to your team about their response styles. When you know who you’re working with, you can tailor the way you communicate about change.

  • Leapers need encouragement and gentle reminders that not everyone moves as quickly as they do. Ask them to share their grand visions and boundless enthusiasm. It may be contagious.
  • Bridge builders need time for research and reflection. Try not to push a bridge builder into change too soon — help them feel grounded and see that everyone’s needs are being considered.
  • Tradition holders need confidence that the good things won’t be tossed out haphazardly. Encourage them to voice what’s important to them in times of transition and acknowledge their point of view.

#3: Practice the 5 P’s

Leading through change can be stressful; the “5 P’s” can lower the temperature.

  • Patience: Remember that things don’t happen immediately, and that’s okay.
  • Persistence: When things get difficult, take a deep breath, reassess, and move forward.
  • Practicality: Consider whether a change needs immediate response. Most of the time, the answer is no. 
  • Positivity: Embrace the highs and lows, but try to maintain a sense of optimism.
  • Purpose: Root yourself in your guiding principles and remember the end goal. 

Whether in business or life, change takes time to get used to. But with the right tools, you can lead the way to successful growth with confidence and self-awareness. Embrace the inevitable — great things are on the other side!

Powerful question: Think back on the last time you faced a stressful change. Were you a leaper, bridge builder, or a tradition holder? Which do you want to be in the future?


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