Learn How To Grow With Better Change Management Skills

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Andy Vargo shares some tips on how to improve your change management skills in this video below:

Do we really need to accept the changes in our lives?  After all, aren’t there times when the changes that are thrust upon us may not be to our benefit? And what about job loss, demotions, injuries, and diseases? One cannot in good faith argue that these are changes we should embrace and not try to fight back against.

If you are in the camp tossing these questions my way, I will agree with you that there are some changes which are not pleasant. So we may not in our right mind choose to go through many of these. However, often times we add more to our struggles than is necessary by our urge to fight against any change at all.

Many times the stress, focus, and interest we place are upon the fact that these changes are out of our control. And this, in essence, becomes that battle that we are fighting. In fact, we are fighting the wrong battle in these situations.  I would argue that, rather than fight for control of the situation, we need to find acceptance in the changes we are facing.  Because only then can we properly turn our focus towards finding the most desirable outcome during this change in our lives.

Real life change

Let’s use the example of losing your job.  Should this happen, you have some options.  Obviously, the first and foremost priority will be replacing your income as quickly and at the best rate that you can negotiate.  If you have not been in this situation before, I can tell you that it is a scary place to be.  Your first instincts may be to fight the change that was thrust into your life.  Perhaps you want to appeal the decision and take your argument up the ranks within your former company.  Or perhaps you want to defend your good name to your colleagues in order to do whatever damage control you may be able to.  However, the damage is done, the change is now in your court, right or wrong.

The only option you need to focus on is how to navigate to the best-desired outcome from this change. So get over the event itself, and start doing what needs to be done to get to a better place as fast as possible. Yes, like it or not you need to accept the change, good or bad, and focus on moving forward.

What needs to be done?

So what do you do now? Let’s spend some time asking yourself how you feel about this change. Set a timer for five minutes while you ask yourself the following questions, being as honest as you can with how you really feel at the present moment:

  1. How do I feel about this change?
  2. Can this change be undone?
  3. Should this change have happened or was it unnecessary?
  4. Who do I blame for this change?
  5. What was my part in causing this change to happen?
  6. What is the best possible outcome for me going forward?
  7. How do I make this outcome a reality?

You will see in these seven questions that some may be easier to answer than others.  How much time did you spend on each of the questions?  Did you find yourself running out of time to focus on the last couple of questions?

Where are we focusing our energy?

When we are faced with change, we often focus all of our energy on the questions that center around those things which are out of our control. The first four questions above, illustrate these. Do you find yourself dwelling in the world of the first few questions and stewing about the situation?

Question five lives in the middle ground, between playing the blame game and doing what needs to be done to move one.  This question asks what your part in this situation is. By asking this, you should only be focusing on learning how to set yourself up for better situations in the future.  But if there are lessons here to be learned, make a note of them, and move on as a better smarter you.  Do not waste time blaming yourself for your situation. Just learn and move on. Because blaming only holds you back, whether you are blaming others or yourself.

When it comes to self-awareness and accountability moving forward, those questions become tougher to address. The last two questions focus inward, on ourselves.  So these are where we need to spend the majority, if not all of our time, in order to create the best outcome we can.  We need to control what we can. And by doing this, we can only look to our own actions and thoughts going forward.  We cannot hope to ‘gain’ control of the situation by arguing that we should not have to face this change. And we cannot hold onto the idea that things should just go back to how they were.  Granted, there is comfort in the status quo, but with comfort comes a lack of interest, a lack of fun, and a lack of growth.

Try this again:

So let’s reflect on the same seven questions for another five minutes. But this time you are going to set two timers: first set a timer for one minute, and then another for four minutes.  In the first minute, you will reflect on all of the first five questions, then spend the next four minutes on the remaining two questions.

  1. How do I feel about this change?
  2. Can this change be undone?
  3. Should this change have happened or was it unnecessary?
  4. Who do I blame for this change?
  5. What was my part in causing this change to happen?
  6. What is the best possible outcome for me going forward?
  7. How do I make this outcome a reality?

By doing this exercise you will be forcing yourself to limit your outward thinking and driving the majority of your focus and time on the questions that will bring you in line with the right kind of thinking.  Because this forces you to be thinking about the things you really can control in order to create the best outcome for your change.

By changing the amount of time we spend thinking in certain ways, we can change the chance we have to maneuver our life changes in the direction we need them to go. But first, we have to accept that change is upon us.  So don’t fight the change for the sake of not wanting to deal with a change. Fight the way you think about the changes in your life and they will start to work in your favor.

Your new reality

What if that most desirable outcome from this change lands you in a much happier, healthier and richer life? We hear time and again where someone’s unexpected life changes were a blessing in disguise. But what we often do not hear is how they took control of the situation.  We do not learn how they changed their thinking to guide the outcomes in the direction they wanted. You too have this power now that you understand how to alter your thinking towards your most desired outcome. It all comes down to spending most of your time on the right questions.

So what change are you facing?  Comment below with your change management story.  Is it a job loss, relationship changes, or other major life changes? All of which I have been through myself.  So I would love to hear how you accepted the change and took control of the outcome.



Other Contributor articles by Andy:

If You Hate Work, It’s Time For Change

1 Comment

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  1. Love your article, Andy!!👌

    I’ve been through many changes in my life. Some were pleasent, another ones quite difficult.
    I’ll only mention one at this point.

    I started my career in sales and business development. I love people and that seemed like a perfect job for me. I really enjoyed my work, but my inner voice was calling me to another direction –> digital marketing.

    I had my university degree in marketing, but I didn’t have any working experience in that field. At that point I had a good job and working environment, great client relationships, industry reputation and a good salary. Sounds perfect? Not for me. Deep in myself I wasn’t really happy.

    People told me I was crazy, when I left. Why to leave everything I built so hard to start something new? From the scratch. ”Nobady will give you opportunity without experience”, they said.

    I didn’t listen. I never listen, when I feel it with my heart.

    I found the opportunity. I followed my inner voice and my passion. Today I’m building marketing campaigns for one of our biggest clients. And I’m happy.

    No regrets, when you follow your heart and your passions.

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