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How to Tackle Fears of Organizational Change?

Oct 13, 2017

Organizational change is essential to all businesses in order to survive and thrive in the increasingly competitive and fast-paced world around them. But the problem is that many companies tend to move too fast and are driven by outcomes, and not being consultative in the way they approach things. 

For the very same reason, people tend to resist change as they are skeptical about losing something of value, and not being able to adapt to those new organizational changes. Besides, there can be a variety of reasons to why many people fear change at work including fear of the unknown, loss of control, lack of appreciation, fear of rejection and even loss of job. 

It is needless to say that fear is an enemy of engagement and can thwart collective as well as personal progress. It is therefore, the wisest to identify ways to overcome fear and be dynamic in the process of adapting to change. The following can help you tackle and react to organizational change in a manner you ideally should: –

1.Acknowledge the Changes

The important thing to do in case of an unsettling change is to recognize and accept it. It will be one of the first steps towards effectively managing it.

2.Face Your Fears

Confront your feelings and face your fear of the transition you are going through, especially when it is imposed beyond your control. You don't have to act as a victim and simply reach out to a close colleague, partner or a loved one and talk to them about what’s going on inside you. This can stop you dwelling on the fears.

3.Think about Something Positive

Fear is often a result of creating negative scenarios in your head about what the future holds and how it will unfold. Do not describe change to yourself; instead ask yourself questions like ‘how did I handle a change before?’ ‘What actions can really work for me?’ 

4.Be Flexible

Approach changes with an open attitude of getting to learn from them. Even if you don't like something new, be flexible enough to at least try if it can work for you. Also, being a part of the change can be a great opportunity to get involved in new committees and be an influencer. 

5.Continue working as usual, and see the big picture

It is easy to simply sit and point out the negatives during the time of change, but having a corporative attitude is the wiser thing to do. Your focus on achieving new goals may impress people and determine your future success.

6.Communicate as much as possible

A significant part of change is the fear of the unknown. So, if the organization is not communicating the change well, you should be proactive in finding out more about what all is involved. Talk to your boss and your co-workers, but ensure these sessions aren’t negative. Ask constructive questions.

7.Have a sense of meaning

Take time to get an overview of how valuable you are to the organization and perhaps, put in efforts to make yourself more valuable. This is a time when you need to focus on being strong, healthy and resilient. Focus on your exercise and nutrition, take deep breaths and smile.

Change is inevitable for all, but it doesn’t always have to culminate in anxiety or fear. A major factor that influences the change and helps manage the fear of change is the organization’s ability and alacrity in handling the process of change. For instance Flipkart, during the company’s reorganization in 2015, managed to realign higher management roles and responsibilities without losing a major mass of its employees.
The bottom line is that it’s perfectly normal to feel unsettled at the time of change, and what aggravates that feeling are the inappropriate and rather unhelpful responses. Fighting change is not a solution, but managing your fear like a responsible, mature employee and looking for ways to adapt to change certainly is.

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