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3 Tips for Managing Change

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

Are you facing a change at work and feel uncertain what to do to accomplish your career goals? You are not alone. It is common for workers to feel overwhelmed by changes in their work environment. As companies seek ways to do more with less, there are significant shifts occurring in the workplace. If you are in a situation where your role is changing significantly, there are three things you can do to position yourself for success.

Clarify Expectations

The first thing you want to do is to make sure you understand what your leader is asking you to accomplish. When roles and responsibilities change at work, it is critical for everyone to be on the same page as far as expectations. Sit down with your leader, and make sure that you understand what they are looking for you to accomplish. Getting clarity on desired outcomes, and parameters can help you to understand how you will accomplish the task. If you are taking on an expanded role, make sure to understand if there are any tasks that will be deprioritized or completely divested.

As a rule, if you are currently working at capacity, you can only take on additional work if some of your previous work is removed. When collaborating with clients, I frequently use a full teacup as a metaphor of capacity. If a teacup is full to the brim, and you add a tea bag to it, the cup will overflow and make a mess. To make tea without creating a mess, you need to remove water from the teacup. By sitting down with your leader and discussing your current duties and aligning with them on what tasks will be removed, you create capacity to accomplish your goals, without making a mess.

Do Not Suffer in Silence

The second thing you want to do is leverage your support network. Take a 360 degree look at those around you. Who might have skills, data or insights that might help you to be successful completing your task. During my career, I have seen employees struggle to complete tasks because they were unwilling to communicate to those around them that they did not know how to complete the tasks, or that they needed help. Part of the benefit of working within an organization, is collaborating with people that have a shared mission with you. By connecting with people on a personal level, sharing your problems, and requesting assistance, you put yourself in a position to receive help. When you are seeking assistance from others, it is good to tap into various sources. If you go to one individual too often, there is the potential the individual will grow fatigued and wary of helping you. For this reason, it is beneficial to leverage your relationships with multiple stakeholders as you seek help.

Secure Resources

The final tip is to make sure you have the resources you need to accomplish the mission. Start with the end in mind and develop a plan for accomplishing your goals. In crafting this plan, identify the resources necessary to be successful. Failure to have sufficient resources can result in you not achieving your goals. As a metaphor, consider planning a road trip with your family to the beach where you must drive 500 miles to get to your destination. It would be important to understand how much gasoline you will need to get there. Assuming your car can travel 400 miles on a fuel tank of gas, you are going to need to stop to refuel at least once to get to your destination. In this situation, before you start on the road trip, a crucial step would be to have enough gasoline money to refill the tank during your trip. Failure to do so, would result in you not making it to your destination. Too often people start out on a mission, without having clarity to the number of resources necessary to accomplish the mission. From my experience, the earlier you can identify the resources needed to accomplish your goal, the more likely you are to find those resources. By starting early, you have more time to find solutions. As you manage change, take the time upfront to understand your resource constraints, and work with those around you to eliminate those constraints.

As business continue to evolve, companies will continue to challenge employees to do more with less. Labor is the largest and most controllable expense for most businesses. For this reason, leaders of organizations will continue to re-evaluate what employees are doing today and ask them to produce more to keep up with competition, inflation, and organizational goals. By collaborating with your leaders on how you will drive greater efficiency, you place yourself in a position to influence expectations. Once you have clarity of what your leader is asking you to accomplish, leverage your support network, and work to secure the resources you need to be successful. Change is made easier through planning, so develop a plan and set out on your path to success.


Dorian Cunion is an Executive Business Coach with your Path Coaching and Consulting. He specializes in coaching service for managers, executives and small business owner.

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