Reacting to change?

Question: Consider the following elements of your own life

  • Work environment
  • Work relationships
  • Circle of friends
  • Personal relationships
  • Family
  • Where you live
  • The job you do
  • Your financial status
  • Your health

How many of the above elements have changed for you during the past five years? It is highly likely that many if not all, (for me it’s 8 out of 9!), of these major life elements will have changed to some degree. How many of these changes, good or bad, simply happened and how many of them did you actually influence and affect? In other words, how many of the changes did you initiate; how many did you simply react to?

How people react to change

Managing change and dealing with its implications will of course differ from person to person, (it’s perhaps important to note that these reactions can apply to people at all levels and status) but there are broadly three reactions to change:

*Resistance (direct or passive)  *Indifference/Avoidance  *Receptivity and Openness

Why do so many people respond so negatively to change? In the short term change can mean loss, discontinuity, and the destruction of a familiar and “safe” way of life. Fear inducing?

However, the positive elements of change can include the creation of a better set of circumstances, the fun of being involved in something different, the pleasure of new relationships, the opportunities presented from a new venture or means of employment. Invigorating and life enhancing.

Question: Think about a recent change you have initiated or ‘experienced’ – what was your reaction? What did it say about your own response to change?

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