Managing Change part 2

Written by Temi Onanuga

In part one, we looked at the definition of Change and the Change curve according to Elisabeth Kübler- Ross. This write up covers how we deal with change.

Recognise how you approach change

Understanding how you approach change enables you to: Better understand your strengths and the challenges you will face engaging and dealing with change.

A hint – Be a role model, when dealing with Change. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts, British Philosopher

As a leader, people will follow you and model your behaviour – If you ‘think out loud’ during times of change, people will think you are announcing actual facts. People will hang onto your every word, especially if they are feeling uncertain.

A successful change manager/leader needs to act as a positive role model by creating a shared vision, to gain commitment from a team and lead them along the change journey. This will help the team adapt to change as confidence breeds confidence.


Arm yourself with information and more importantly, be open minded. Go with the flow. This approach is healthier than remaining in denial, after all, change is inevitable. Change happens every day

Make a note of how you approach change:

a)      Do you see change as incremental and enjoy building on what already works?

b)      Do you prefer to identify and lead change?

c)       Are you someone who enjoys implementing new working practices?

To help uncover your approach, try the following:

  1.      What do you need to do differently to support your team (if a manager)?

  2.       What opportunities do you have to flex your style so you can respond to the needs and styles of others?

  3.       Ask your team/peers/line manager for feedback on your style – ask them what you do well and how you might build on this.

  4.       How would you describe the potential pitfalls of your change style?

  5.       Think about what your role is – are you a creator or implementer of change.

  6.     Identify your strengths around how you approach change e.g. if you are a practical person, a key strength may be your ability to draw people together in a common purpose.

Dealing with a personal sense of frustration

Case study: You have just been informed about a change to be implemented at work. You feel overwhelmed and angry that you have to deal with more uncertainty; you have not felt this way for a long time.

What might you do next:

  1. Refer back to the change curve and remember it is ok to feel this way.

  2. Remind yourself that frustration/stress/anger is a common reaction

  3. Do not share your uncertainty and frustration with the team: “doubt breeds doubt”.

  4. Talk to your Manager

  5. Plan for the changes and how you intend to engage your team and stakeholders

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