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Straight Up - Ask a Communication Coach

Jun 07, 2018 02:51PM ● By Staff Writer

Q:  The office that I work at is changing all their computer systems. I hate updates like these, they are so disruptive. Is there something I can do to handle it better?
I need help!

Susan, HealthCare Company

Answer: Change can be disruptive, even when it is good! Everyone handles it differently and it’s not uncommon for businesses or organizations to implement change without assessing the overall impact. It’s a frequent mistake that effects the bottom line because everyone responds to change differently.

The unintended consequence of change is productivity often goes down and people’s stress levels go up. At least in your case, you are taking a great first step! You are aware of the immediate impact of change on you, because you said you find it “Disruptive.”

It is important to understand how you deal with change period. If you are a person that loves routine it will be especially disruptive when anything changes. If this is you, I would ask what parts of your routine can you keep as your constant? Having a constant will help you go to your “working comfort zone” while embracing change in phases.

If making system adjustments is something you dread, what part of your job still has to be done the same way, even with new computer system on the horizon?  

Is there a way to compartmentalize what you do? Can you set aside learning time?

Learning about computer systems, or any systems  in “small process chunks,” will be less overwhelming. This has nothing to do with how smart you are, it has to do with adjusting to change in your work environment when you are a routine person. What’s great about you, is once you know a system, you embrace it fully. Remember this as you are immersed in your process of adjusting.

Others may embrace the novelty of a new computer system faster, or find computers easier to navigate. Instead of comparing yourself to others, you might look at it as an opportunity to find new ways to make change less disruptive by getting different people to share how the new computer works. Perhaps someone in the office who “gets it” quicker could offer a short lesson to others who are more anxious with this type of change. As people learn the computer systems, others could take turns sharing their discoveries.

In essence you are helping to create a new “constant” that would help the team explore how the new computers work, share short cuts, identify glitches, and clarify processes. This would help you, the team, and the company!

Here are a few  questions that you could post to help you deal with change at work, and really it could apply to any kind of change.

1. What don’t you like about the change?

Think about what is it that will impact you the most. Be as specific as possible.

2. Is there anything that is a source of comfort to you that will continue alongside the change?

It might be a work routine, or a social connection who makes you laugh or encourages you. Finding a constant that you feel grateful about helps you through adjustment periods.

3. Can you compartmentalize the part of the change that is impacting you most?

If you are learning something new at work, set aside time to focus on learning and not be in this mode all day every day. In your case, Susan it is at work, but even if it were personal you can create a space and time to focus on the hard part of change for you. That way, the stress does not pour over into every department of your life.

4. How could you use this change challenge to help you and others?

Even though we all respond differently to change, we all do react. When you are uncomfortable, what new ways could you approach handling the situation? It’s amazing how asking for help, can also help others deal with change too.

I hope that answered your question Susan! I know you are not alone because change is hard for everyone.

If you have a question you would like answered here, or on my YOUTUBE Channel “Wendy Hornung," email me at [email protected].

Wendy Hornung is a business consultant offering training courses focusing on strengths and their impact on Team Building, Problem Solving, Managing Stress, and Leading Others. Wendy’s passion is helping others discover their greatest potential to create and manifest personal, professional, and business goals. Her tool box includes Gallup Certified Strengths Coach®, Educator, Writer, Filmmaker, Astrologer and more.

For more info call Wendy at 337-278-1274