Jamie Charter
August 27, 2006 — 1,929 views  
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Change. It is inevitable, yet it is much feared often avoided and will send grown people kicking and screaming, running for the hills, fighting like mad against it. Why is this? Every day something changes in the workplace or in our personal lives. When the boss is leaving, there are rumors of workplace changes, sales are dropping and the water cooler talk is in full bloom with “what ifs”, this can greatly raise insecurities. Do these changes negatively affect you, your job and your company and, if so, do you realize there is a choice about whether they will or not? These constant changes can cause you to lose or they can propel you into greater success. Do you know the choice is yours? Some things occur regularly around change. One thing is that there will be pressure to keep things the way they are. There will be challenge to change. When we teeter to close to the edge of the cliff, it is threatening. People naturally feel more comfortable when things remain the same. Safe. Familiar. WHY CHANGE IS FEARED One factor why people fear change is because it propels them into the unknown, which is one of the greatest fears in the world: the fear of the unknown. While this is a natural response, there is a way to control this fear and turn it into the creativity needed to generate more productivity. Symptoms of fear of the unknown: breathlessness, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or a full blown anxiety attack. Fear, which is such a strong emotion, creates an enormous amount of energy in a person. The trouble with this is that the energy tends to be negative and destructive. People who fear change assume a role of the victim. They feel unprepared and inadequate to conquer whatever may come before them. Most of all, they feel a total lack of control over the situation. Insecurities are internally damaging to focus and motivation and externally destructive throughout the company. When people are afraid, they tend to broadcast negative comments to others in the workplace. While it may not be intentional, their fear is infectious and damaging to themselves and to those around them. How one personally views a specific change has a great impact on how one will respond to the change. The greater the meaning a person places upon a change, the greater will be the sense of loss. Two people can experience the same set of circumstances, but view them differently. There is another choice and response to FEAR. It does not always have to lead to negative energy! OKAY THEN, WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? This energy revolving around your response to the situation at hand can be turned around into positive energy by making a choice! When everything around you changes, throw away your doubts and insecurities and do the following: 1. Remain strong in your convictions. 2. Remember who you are and demonstrate confidence in your abilities. 3. Show pride in your work at all times 4. Do not involve yourself in negative, non-productive discussions! 4. Remember FEAR may merely be false evidence appearing real. Although the initial tendency is to react negatively, challenge yourself to find the positive aspects and opportunities that lie within every change. When you see change as a challenge and an opportunity, you will get excited about it! Through changing your perspective, and you have the power to change your attitude. Changing your attitude will, in turn, change your results. The doomsayers around you may continue to moan and groan but you will then be out there, promoting another proactive perspective to others. The positive energy and new and improved attitude has the capacity to become contagious, spreading quickly throughout your company. You will be viewed as a positive influence to those around you, a change agent. It is all up to you. How a person views a change influences how they communicate, make decisions, and solve problems as they deal with change So the next time you are presented with a change, remember: 1. Stay positive! Challenge yourself to find the opportunity within the impending change 2. The choice to stay positive is all in your mind. 3. You control your mind 4. You control the situation 5. You control the outcome. These things will allow you to turn the energy that fear can create into POSITIVE energy. You will use that energy to become a positive change agent within your organization, your company, your personal life and you will begin to empower yourself as you seize control of your situation. “Maybe you and I can’t do great things we may not change the world in one day But we still can change some things today... In our small way”….Michael Jackson Author Jamie Charter has been providing employment and litigation consulting services for 23 years through Charter and Company employer resource consultants in Soquel, California. Jamie, on the faculty of, has authored many published articles on employment related subjects. Contact Jamie: [email protected]

Jamie Charter

Charter and Company

Jamie Charter, consultant, trainer and author, has been providing employment and litigation consulting services for 23 years through Charter and Company employment resource consultants in Soquel, California. Areas of specialization include development and implementation of disability management programs, case management, EEOC/FEHA/ADA consultation, return-to-work facilitation, CalPers job description services, job analyses, conducting training seminars for employer groups on sexual harassment prevention and discrimination and litigation /expert witness services in Forensics.