By Anthony T. Eaton

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wayne Dyer

Change is difficult for most people and leaders are no exception to that. Change is also inevitable and the first step in making change work for you is to understand what kind of change it is. To successfully handle and navigate change leaders need tools and insight. Change falls into four categories:

Personal: This is the change that affects us directly such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, career change, and promotion.

Group: Here we have change that affects similarly situated groups of people like a department, a business unit or team.

Organizational: Change within the organization affects individuals and groups across different levels and can include reorganizations, divestitures, acquisitions, layoffs or expansions.

Environmental: No less important than the rest, environmental change can be office moves, buying or selling a home.

Change is not random and doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  We are not powerless over change unless we choose to be and while we may not be able to control change there are some things we can do to understand it and make it easier:

Question: The most often asked question is “Why is this happening to me?” It’s key to not stop with just that question but to go on and ask yourself “What am I supposed to learn from this?” Everything happens for a reason and there are lessons in all of it.

Understand: Your questions should lead you to some sort of understanding. Is what is happening within your control or not? What is the lesson you will take away from the experience? How will this affect you?

Decide: Once you have asked the important questions and have some sense of understanding of the change, why it is occurring, what you might take away from it and how it will affect you, you can decide how to react to it. Will there be some kind of action on your part?

Trust: Finally you must trust that things will always work out the way they are supposed to. It may not be the way we want or hope for, but it is always going to be what it is going to be.

The change will always affect you, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. Regardless, if you take some time to think about it, you will be better equipped to approach and handle change the best way possible.

Change is not likely, it’s inevitable.

Barbara Sher

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