Managing Change: How to deal with the ‘givens’

We all know the one thing that’s always constant is change. Whether at work or even in your personal lives, change happens and most of the time we just need to deal with it. A ‘given’ is something that you can’t change or influence and is completely outside of your control. Ask yourself, is the change that is going on a given or not? There’s no point spending time working on things that you can’t change, when you can be spending that time on things that you can. Explore how you can move through change quicker by concentrating on things that will help your boat move faster.

1. Decide what the givens are

If a change is a given, does it mean that the whole of it is, or are there elements of the change that you can have control over? People often assume that everything to do with the change is a given, however more often than not, there can be certain elements of the change that you may be able to control or have influence over. It can be worth testing to see whether or not there’s anything you can do about it.

2. Deal with the givens

Once you’re aware of what it is that you can’t change, it’s a good idea to find a way to deal with it. Understand how you may feel about it and how you may want to go about dealing with it. Is it your thinking, your attitude or your approach that needs changing? You may feel that this change is something that you can’t tolerate and so you may choose to take some relevant actions. On the other hand you may choose to embrace it. You may want to think how comfortable you feel about the change.

3. Focus your energies

There’s no point focusing your energies on things that you can’t change or don’t have control over. Ask yourself, how much of your energy do you really want to spend moaning about something you can’t do anything about? It’s time to focus on what you can influence, what you can change. It would be more helpful to focus your thinking, behaviour and attitude on something that you have control over.

4. Help others with their thinking

Once you have dealt with the givens and feel comfortable with your thoughts around what you can’t change, it can be helpful to support others through the process. The longer it takes for people to adjust, the more it can impact on the productivity of work because, at the end of the day time = money. Once your whole team is aligned, it can make it easier to let go and move forward.

Three things to do now:

  1. Explore the change and identify what you do and don’t have control over
  2. Focus your energies on what you can influence and let go of what you can’t
  3. Help others with their thinking to create an aligned team.
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