April 6, 2016 | Sotera Wireless

Any change is an emotional experience. How one thinks, believes, acts and feels about change impacts how we embrace change.  Think about a recent change at home or at work. How did you feel in that situation? Worried, depressed, sad, angry, negative, stressed out? Or excited, happy, motivated, energized, and optimistic? Maybe your feelings were both positive and negative. But the odds are that you felt something. If you remember the change, it’s probably because there was an emotion attached to it. Understanding normal emotional responses to change can assist you to anticipate your reaction to change.

It is human nature to resist change. It takes us out of our comfort zone. A negative reaction to change may be from a feeling of loss, a loss of control, power, or skill set. You may gain as well, but a loss is always involved.  For example, when you get promoted, you gain a better title, higher pay, and more recognition – but you lose your feeling of comfort and competence from your previous job. You may also feel less certain of your ability to perform your duties or produce results.

Here are some tips on how to adapt to change in the work place:

Think positively not negatively – When a radical change happens in the workplace, it’s easier to think, “Well, I’m not doing that. It’s just crazy.” What helps is to have a mentality where we think more about the possibility than impossibility.

Focus on controlling your own actions – Each day there will be ups and downs that are going to be out of our control. Stress and anxiety often arises because we feel as though we have no control. We try to control our environment and everyone around us. The reality is, the only thing we can control in a changing workplace is our own actions and our actions will create our new and better future.

Accept – “Change is not something that happens to us. Change is something that is happening all the time.” Change is constantly occurring whether we are aware of it or not. By learning to ACCEPT that change is a natural law of life, we can begin to adapt more quickly as it creeps into our workplace and lives. Accept that change in the workplace is inevitable. Once we do, there’s nothing holding us back.

Being open to new thinking and new ideas allow us to grow, progress and find fulfillment in our work and daily lives. If we are to survive, develop and succeed in our careers and our lives we will have to be better at adapting to change!

Maura Nicotra, RN, BSN
Clinical Consultant