Change Resilience – How to Help People Better Handle Change

Change Resilience people crossing a chasm

To many people, organizational change feels like a threat.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could increase the levels of change resilience to minimize the threats and help people persevere through difficult and important organizational changes?

Change-induced threats typically come from a fear of losing control, turf, authority, knowledge, relationships, certainty, resources, power, competence or routines.  A pretty powerful list.

It seems reasonable that the status quo would seem more comfortable than a changed and unknown future. But change is inevitable and the rate and pace of change continues to grow. And the better we, and our teams, handle organizational change, the more effective we can be at staying ahead of the competition and creating a healthy and aligned corporate culture.

What does it take to get better at organizational change? Change management consulting experts say that it takes resilience. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.  The good news is that if you or your organization don’t have change resilience, you can learn it.

If you want to create more change resilient people to better handle organizational change, make sure they:

  • Have support. Help them build relationships with family, with colleagues, with friends…anyone in their sphere who can be counted upon to help when there are obstacles to overcome.
  • Define themselves in multiple ways. Help them find self-worth in many avenues.  When one identity is lost (say through a job loss), resilient people find their self-worth in their other roles.
  • Understand that in every life some rain must fall. Help them gain perspective that life, and work, is a roller coaster.  There will be failures. They should focus on accepting and learning from challenges and then moving on.
  • Reframe and forgive past hurts. Help them adopt a glass-half-full attitude.  Teach them not to dwell on the past and encourage them to forgive those who have harmed them.
  • Keep their eye on the prize. Help them know where they are headed and why.  teach them how to persevere through challenges toward their ultimate goal.

To learn more about becoming better at change, download A New Way to Think about Change – The Agile Organization

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