Tips for handling change shared in September webinar

Sep 28, 2018

As the Reimagining IT initiative moves forward, people may feel uncertain about what lies ahead. The September webinar, “Working Through Change,” offered thoughts on ways to look at change and the opportunities that arise from it.

Michael noted that in times of uncertainty when people have more questions than answers, they have two choices – one, to see it as a negative situation and become fearful, or two, to look at it as a time of growth and embrace it.

He said Chris Lucas, director of Strategic Engagement and Organizational Change Management, spends a lot of time thinking about change and helping senior leaders think about how to navigate through it. One model Chris uses to help people is the Bridges Transition Model, which illustrates three phases of change.

The first phase – ending, losing or letting go – is the time for shedding of old ways. During this phase, supportive leadership can help allay fears around the losses their staff may be dealing with.

The middle phase – the neutral zone – is the in-between time of psychological realignment with what is changing.

The final phase – new beginnings – is when people develop their new identity and discover a new sense of purpose, thanks to opportunities presented through change.

Michael shared coping mechanisms from a recent Harvard Business Review article about dealing with change, including:

  • Find humor in the situation
  • Talk about problems more than feelings
  • Don’t stress out about stressing out
  • Focus on your values instead of your fears
  • Accept the past, but fight for the future
  • Don’t expect stability

He added that focusing on what you can control, including continuing to do your best work, asking questions and trusting the process are important ways to move forward.

A number of questions were asked during the webinar, which can be found on the FAQ section on the homepage.