Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Change: Let's Face IT

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Most people would prefer not to deal with change, wanting life to remain constant and predictable. However, in the world of IT, innovation and transformation are part of the fabric of our world. Changing technology, business processes, and ways of interacting with the customer constantly evolve. So, how do we deal with it?
  • No one can tell you how to feel or make you feel anything. Face your feelings and own them. I often write things down, or I send myself an email venting all of the frustrations or worries I have. When I hit send, I can “let it go.” After I receive this email from myself, I can choose to read or delete it. Usually, I delete the email and move on knowing that I have been able to express myself and to get those thoughts out of my head. Oftentimes this process allows me to formulate a constructive plan for moving ahead, whether or not I choose to send relevant ideas from the note to my teammates or others.
  • Control what you can; let go of what you cannot. It is easy to get caught being negative or resistant to change. When something interferes with our daily routine -- like when another team steps on a process -- I notice it is a human trait to look to fix the other person’s problem. It sure is easier to point the finger and find flaws elsewhere. I take a step back and focus on what I can control -- myself and my team. This not only improves the entire process and situation but it also gives me (and us!) something productive to focus on. When we are focused and choosing to be in control of ourselves, we don’t feel the stress of change as much.
  • Find ways to be grateful and look for benefits of the change. When change happens, it is often our first reaction to be angry. I try to get past this (after sending my angry email to myself) and focus on being grateful about what the universe is offering me with this change. If I reframe the change as an opportunity, I can see the possibilities. I have found that as soon as I “let go” of resistance and worries, I can see the ways to make the change work for me. Often I will reach out to a key coworker, family member, or friend to discuss my feelings and frustrations. This gets the worry out of my head and provides perspective. Others may see the benefits for me when I cannot.
  • Take care of yourself -- relax and do something you enjoy. This concept applies at all times but certainly makes a big impact when stressed or dealing with change. I find the time to just take a walk around the building. Or, I read a chapter in a favorite book during a quick break at work. Not only does this give me control of key moments in my day, it also recharges my personal battery. We can’t help ourselves, or others, if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Find what works for you and take control of the time you need to refresh your attitude and your mind.
  • Keep breathing, and embrace change as a natural part of life. If we can see change as normal, and not as something being “done” to us, we can transform how we think about it. I envision myself going on that trip I have planned next month, catching that new movie in two weeks, or even just having dinner at home with my family tonight. When I can see the normal things in life occurring in the future, the change and stress of the moment are less worrisome. I know I can survive it; life goes on.
  • While change may be an ever present part of life, stress does not have to be. Successful change and stress management is learning how and when to take control. It’s important to remember that you control how change affects you.
You always have a choice; and that means you do have control of how you deal with change.

William Chumley: Chief Customer Officer. Weekend color guard judge, computer science study, traveler, bookworm. He knows how to get it done and is always listening to the customer. Find me on Twitter at @WilliamMChumley.

1 comment:

  1. Such great advice, William. In my experience, many positive things in my life have started with scary or unplanned (and often resisted) changes. Finding the first positive in a change has also been the first step in accepting and engaging.


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