Amp Up Your Personal Change Agility

Productive change behaviors you should amp up versus the toxic change behaviors you will see others sink into. I hope you find this helpful!

Trick question: If people's response to change is "Rational, political and emotional," then what is your response to change?

Professionals tend to do pretty well with change they think is a good idea. But everyone - from senior executives to individuals contributors - is subject to that difficulty that comes with having to deal with change they don't like and didn't expect.

When you are faced with change that is difficult for you, it's best to go back to basic principles:

  • Principle #1: Always and forever, you are in charge of your actions - what you say and what you do - no matter what is happening external to you.

  • Principle #2: The more perspective you have and the more flexible you are, the more creative and resourceful you can be.

This does not mean be either a naïve Pollyanna or an unthinking corporate drone. You certainly should be smart, keep your head up, try to see where this is all going. And, it's important to productively challenge if you think something is going wrong.

Stay away from toxic change behaviors and amp up your productive change behaviors:

Toxic change behaviors - I know you won't do this, but you will see others doing this:

  • Undermine the new boss.

  • Gossip about how bad it all is in side conversations.

  • Underperform as a way of signaling you don't have the resources you need to do your job.

  • Try to grab turf, position yourself ahead of others, and focus on your needs first, the company's second.

  • Have your spouse call HR to complain about the person driving the change (Yes. It did. Really.)

Productive change behaviors - these will always positively distinguish you:

  • Add extra value - there is always a role for people who consistently deliver.

  • Put company needs ahead of your own.

  • Maintain a positive attitude - people should want you around because you are an upper in tough times.

  • Create new alliances and relationships.

  • Test your market value in the outside job market. People who are trapped get toxic. People who know their value are confident and productive.

"Bloom where you're planted" is an expression that many CEOs reference as a compass for their own careers. It's a great mantra for you to have in times of change.