Coping With Change

Coping With Change

By Beth Argus, MFT

Change is an inevitable part of our work and personal life. Change affects individuals in different ways. Some see change as positive; others are threatened by change. Learning how to manage change can make this process less stressful. The following are some tips on how to cope with change.

People do not fear change, they fear loss. The most common losses are in terms of security (uncertainty and feeling out of control), competence (one no longer knows what to do), relationships (loss of belonging to a team and loosing contact with individuals), sense of direction (mission becomes muddled), and territory (uncertainty of job assignment and space);

Most individuals go through a process of change that involves four stages: denial, resistance, exploration, and commitment. When you are experiencing a major change it is helpful to identify where you are in the process and to identify the feelings you are experiencing in each phase. If you are stuck in one of the stages, knowing which stage follows might help you move to the next phase;

In times of change, see yourself as a teamplayer/active participant and not a victim. For example, if you are experiencing changes in the workplace, ask yourself how you can actively participate in this change. Invent the future instead of redesigning the past!

The hardest changes to manage are those that are imposed on us because we often do not have time to prepare for the losses. During these changes it is helpful to remain positive and look at change as opportunity and not as danger;

If you are experiencing changes that are affecting your personal or work-life seek support through family and friends or seek professional help.

For further support, call the Staff & Faculty Counseling Center at X40245. Campus Human Resources offers workshops on Managing Change. For information on how to sign up for this workshop please call CHR at X40850.