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The Change

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When you think about Change, what are some words that come to mind?

Here are some answers other SMaRT Club members posted: exciting, frustrating, shocking, stressful, scary, marriage, fun, work, challenging, growing up, unhealthy to healthy, paralyzing.

Were some of your emotions, thoughts, or situations listed? If you thought of something else let us know by posting a comment below.

As we can see change is complex and people view it in different ways.  There are thoughts, those things you tell yourself about change, such as, “This is stressful,” or “I’m never going to be able to get through this.” There are also feelings, those biological reactions you experience before, during, and after, such as sweaty palms, nervous digestion, fear. Then there are the times when you can think of change as an event, situation, or phase of life. Children growing up or marriage often come up as a response to our asking what people think about change.

For clarity, let’s put what you’ve learned so far and create a definition of change.

Change is a situational, concept shift that can impact us, others, and our environment.  Change can take place over any duration of time, seconds to years. We can decide to introduce these changes ourselves or these changes can be forced upon us.  It is how we think and feel about change that will impact our behavior and determine our transition.

You are going to do an activity that will allow you to examine your own approach to change.  In this self-inventory, you will examine the last 30 days and determine if your self-talk, thoughts, and emotions were linked to the performance or outcome.  There are several questions to reflect upon and answer.  Remember, you chose to take this course. You want to learn about how you adapt to change. This is an important activity so put high effort into it. After you are finished, review the questions below and see what conclusions you have come to.

The Change Activity: Self-Inventory

Instructions:  Think of the last 30 days and all the changes that you have experienced.  On your activity sheet, make a list of those changes in the first column.  In the second column write what your self-talk was when the change first happened and your feelings in the third column.  In the last column write down the outcome of the change and if it was positive or negative.

Review your list of information above and answer the following questions.

  1. Do you see any trends that have an impact on how you approach change?
  2. What are some common thoughts you have had?
  3. What are some similar emotions you have felt?
  4. Did your thoughts and feelings set you up for quick success through the phases of change or were they hindering you?
  5. Have your initial reactions ultimately matched the outcomes? For example, were you overly negative in the beginning, but the outcome was highly positive or vice versa?
  6. Write down several examples of how you currently manage change events to have positive outcomes and performance.

Reflective Questions

Q: Look on your activity sheet and at your list of emotions.  Do you find that many of them are more positive or negative responses to the change event you listed?

If you answered negative, you’re normal as 63% of people perceive change as negative.

Q: Why do you think you see change as negative?

Change is unknown and we don’t know how to react to that. Oftentimes people work very hard to find their comfort zones and then work even harder to stay in them. Change forces us out of those comfort zones to manage an environment of unstable variables and that is very stressful.

Q: What is your performance and outcome goal for adapting to change?

 You may say you want all your performances to lead to successful outcomes. That while you’re going through changes you want to be positive with your customers, clients, teammates, leaders, friends, and families. You don’t want change to disrupt your attitude, mood, stress levels, or encounters with people. You want the rollercoaster to stop so you can get out of “crazy town.”

If that is what you want, look at the last question on your activity sheet. To be in control and create positive performance and outcomes during change, you must be able to articulate what you do to achieve these results.

This is one of several critical moments in this course: If you can’t articulate it, you can’t achieve it.

Here are some ideas other SMaRT Club+ members listed:

  • Take a deep breath as soon as a change happens
  • Make a list of questions to ask people so you can gain information
  • Talk with a leader about their perspective of the change
  • Write your self-talk and emotions down. Recite the positive ones and challenge the negative
  • Share your thoughts and emotions with family
  • Listen to calming music
  • Walk outside in the sun
  • Do nothing, think nothing, feel nothing. Simply be in the moment as an active observer and take everything in. Schedule a time later to unpack it all and analyze what’s there.

You will be working with these change events again in this course.  The expectation for this course is for you to apply what you learn to your current change events to improve upon all aspects of your position and enhance your life.  Acknowledging patterns in your self-talk and emotions in the way you react and respond to change is the first step in learning how to thrive through it.

Next, we will be talking about the transition process which starts with The Ending phase.  Let’s look at the components of that phase.

Key Takeaways

This module provides the you with an overview of the first phase of Adapting to Change, The Change phase. The definition and concept of Change is explored further. You will also complete a self-inventory on Change that guides you through a series of questions helping you look for patterns of your reaction and response to change events in the workplace. The key element is incorporating positive reaction and response behaviors to positively influence your outcome and performance.

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