I’ve been working recently with a large group of employees undergoing change. Like so many people at the moment they just don’t know what the future holds and that’s difficult. How can you start dealing with things if you don’t know what ‘things’ are? How can you manage change?
Self Esteem and Change
When we find ourselves in a state of change (over which we have no control, like a major reorganisation) our levels of confidence and self esteem can drop. In a Gallop poll on what makes for a good workplace ‘knowing what my job is and what’s expected of me’ came out as number one.
During periods of change we rarely know what’s expected of us, or what our job will be. And that leads to a fall off in productivity, less work satisfaction, and a loss of self worth. And this loss of self worth occurs just at the time we need to feel on top, to be on the radar for new roles!
Here’s an exercise to try out to boost your confidence. It is crucial to remember that you are much, much more than the job you do. You have multiple skills and qualities gained over your life. Some you use in your current role; some you have probably forgotten that you even have.
Take a sheet of paper, draw up four columns headed ‘work’, ‘home/life’, ‘hobbies’ and ‘other’. The columns are just for guidance so don’t get bogged down with them.
Now list every single skill or attribute that you can think of. You don’t have to be an expert, just have some knowledge in it. It’s simply knowledge you could share if asked.
For example, you may have experienced some life events that you’ve never actually evaluated, like a divorce. The increased knowledge and experience from this will be massive but you’ve probably just absorbed it into your life without fully appreciating the experience gained. It will have included managing finances, managing loss, forging a new life, new friends, maybe helping children and family come to terms with the change, possibly involvement through the courts. Take time to think about it.
Maybe you have acquired a qualification while working, or childrearing? Perhaps you have run a charity stall? Maybe you bake cakes? Perhaps you’ve walked the Pennine way? Help out with a kids’ club? This is really a very wide ranging exercise and anything goes. It doesn’t matter how long ago; those skills, attributes and hard won knowledge are still there, accessible to you if you choose. Hopefully once you actually start the ideas will keep flowing and you will get at least 20 things down. Yes, I do mean 20. Get a friend to help if possible. Better still, do this exercise with a friend.
Now look down your list. Know that you are much more than the job you do. You’ve gained a lot of experience and skills in your life; they make you who you are. This experience of change will add to those skills and qualities. You will be stronger. You will survive.
If you are undergoing change at the moment, you may find this post on Does Change Make You Feel Stressed? helpful.
And if you are managing staff through a change process, I can send you a free ebook, simply email me.
Photo Credit: Boris Peterka
Posted on December 2nd, 2011 by Jane