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Management 101: How to Embrace Change

The world is constantly changing, and so should your business

With the rise of technology, the way we do business has drastically changed—information travels faster, and becoming more accessible, which means market demands are constantly changing. If you want your business to thrive in the world of today—especially with the rise and popularity of digitization—you need to expect and anticipate that your company will change at any given point in time. The pandemic didn’t initiate this rapid change; the world has always been this way, and the pandemic has only reminded us of the ever-changing market demands of the 21st century.

The ones who succeeded during the pandemic are the ones who were open to change and questioning their current system, thoughts, strategies, and beliefs. While change can be uncomfortable, we all need to learn how to cope with this discomfort so we can all grow and thrive not only on a corporate level but on a personal level as well.

How Managers Can Learn to Be Okay with Change

Think about what can be done, not the opposite

Sometimes, when we’re faced with change, we find ourselves feeling trapped or helpless. We start to focus less on our objective and more on how much we don’t like the change; we then put all our energy and focus on how things aren’t the same as they were before. We end up being stuck in a never-ending loop of helpless thinking, convincing ourselves that the change has now made things harder or how the newer system isn’t as good as the old one.

One of the reasons why change can be so difficult for us is that we limit ourselves too much to what we already know instead of exploring the new ways or methods we can adopt to make change easier for us—it’s shifting your mentality from “How on Earth am I supposed to do this?” to “What can I do right now to improve the situation with the resources I have at hand?”

This mentality shift can help you find solutions and brainstorm innovative ways you can make use of the situation you’re in right now. Change is only hard when you keep making up more and more problems instead of trying to find ways to make this new “change” work to your advantage—if one thing doesn’t work, that’s okay! Try something else. And if that doesn’t work either, then that’s okay too.

Solutions are always there if you just constantly look for them.

Accept that facing obstacles is inevitable

One of the ways we cope with change is resorting to control; when you have no idea what will happen as a result of this new change, we try our hardest to control the situation so that we anticipate what’s about to come. Fear of the unknown is a strong emotion, and some of us will do all we can to control the situation so that we end up with a more predictable outcome.

Here’s the thing: change is hard and risky, and like it or not, problems will arise—controlling the situation isn’t going to stop the problems from coming. If anything, they’ll probably be hindering your company’s progress. Because, after all, we learn from failures more than we do from successes. With that said, let go of your need to control and let things run their course. You’re going to run into new challenges, problems, and your skills will be put to the test, and that’s just part of the package. Instead of making sure everything is “under control,” learn as you go and improve your ideas and strategy with every challenge you face.

You’ve dealt with change before, you just forgot that you did

You read right: you’ve actually dealt with change before. Maybe they aren’t the same as the changes you’re dealing with right now, but change happens all the time, you just never really notice. Think about it: you’ve probably changed jobs before, you’ve hired and fired people before, maybe you’ve moved countries before—in a way, these things are “different” and “risky” in their own right, you just didn’t think of them that way when it happened.

Granted, getting a new job you’ve always wanted, hiring great talent, or firing someone who wasn’t the best fit for your company isn’t going to instill in us the same fears as change does, but it’s a reminder that change happens to us all the time, and we eventually find a way forward despite the change.

Don’t dwell on your own—dwell with company

The following statement is especially true to the overthinkers out there in the world navigating the business world—the more we mull things over, the more complicated we make them. When you’re sitting at home trying to read or watch something, you find your mind working in the background, thinking about all the what-ifs and why-nots. These thoughts might seem harmless, but they can negatively affect your outlook on the change your business or department is experiencing. Sometimes we dwell so much on our thoughts that they start to become fact.

Whenever you find yourself worrying, overthinking, and excessively thinking about something, you can combat this habit by stopping and asking yourself: are my concerns based on facts or pure assumptions? If you’re finding this question hard to answer on your own, take it up with your colleagues. When you’re in a meeting or having one of your strategy-setting sessions with your team, bring up your concerns and discuss them with your teammates. Brainstorm and discuss the possible solutions for the problem in question, and then commit to making a decision on how to address it right then and there if possible.

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