1000 Ways to Manage Change … But, here’s Five

Avoid The Pain of ChangeAnytime we go through a major life change we’re moving from the old to the new.  There’s a period of time where everything feels out of sorts.  We may feel trapped or stuck.  These 5 suggestions will help you through the process.

Understand it’s not permanent.
You might feel being stuck is permanent if you’ve just had a personal loss.  It’s that you are moving from the old to the new that makes you feel uncomfortable. Once you accept the fact that the discomfort is not permanent and you’re passing through to the new you it will be easier to handle.  Things will feel upside down and out of balance, but life will calm down again and the loss will be a little easier to handle.

It’s OK to take a time out.
Part of the problem is that you feel like you have to make a zillion decisions and all of them seem urgent or important.  If you can slow down and focus, you’re likely to find that not all of the decisions have to be made right now.  Most of them can be delayed for varying amounts of time. Don’t be afraid to a trusted friend or relative for help.  This person might be able to help you look at all of the impending decisions and help you to prioritize them on a time line.

You need to learn to say no or not yet.
If you decide to defer some decisions, you must become comfortable saying no to some people and later to others.  For many saying no is a really difficult thing to do.  Most of us been taught that when someone asks you for an answer you should provide it if you can.  It’s OK for you to say “I’m not ready to make a decision about this yet.” The word “No” can protect you and prevent you from crowding out the decisions that are really important.  So, even if it’s hard for you, learn to say no so you can say yes when you need to.

You need to have others listen to you.
Part of a problem with a transition is that lots of people “know” what you should do, but they really don’t. You are the only one who knows what’s correct, but you must understand why. There is one technique of asking “why” five times will help you find the core reason you want to say yes or no. Now, it will be easier to explain your decision to others. Another technique is to “clam up” until they ask you why you’re not responding.  You can then say, “You are not listening and I’m not going to continue until you do.”  If this doesn’t work, politely end the discussion with that person.

Develop a circle of people you trust.
This is a really a big and important consideration.  If you have people around you whom you can trust you’re probably not going to have to go through the ritual of not talking.  You can explain your reasons and if you have a circle of trust they know the baseline of the relationship, which is the desired result. You want trusted people around you who make your agenda their agenda.  That will help you move to the new you more smoothly.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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