Managing ChangeTons has been written on how to manage organizational change but what can individual managers or other employees do to cope more effectively with change? Fearing change can have a number of causes, including low self esteem, which stems from doubting our ability to cope with the unknown.

Change can threaten our sense of security, our routines and our knowledge of what works. Conversely, those with high self esteem may resent change rather than fear it, but their resistance can be just as strong.

Coping With Change

  • Self-initiated change is not necessarily easier - bad habits are hard to give up.
  • Fear of the unknown can keep us from taking some promotions or retiring.
  • The key to change is to try out the new before giving up the old - like keeping an old computer system going while adusting to a new one.
  • It is backwards to think people can first decide to change and then simply do it.
  • We need to try it first and only then decide it is OK or at least not too threatening.
  • Change agents err in thinking that people are just rational, not emotional too.
  • The pressure of change is an intense test of emotional intelligence.
  • Too many change agents emphasize communication of rational arguments and facts.
  • As if all you need to do is be clear and logical and everyone will be reasonable.
  • Asking people to be reasonable means asking them to accept YOUR reasons.
  • Involvement in planning change helps but is not as good as actually experiencing the new ways yourself - pilot projects are better than wholesale change all in one go.
  • From a psychological point of view, managing change is about helping people maintain or enhance their self esteem through the period of transition.