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Patie Jansen's Strategic Insight Blog

Change: Personal and Professional

Fall is in the air and the change of seasons is once again upon us. I was recently teaching a class on change and shared with the group a quote from William Bridges, “it is often the transition not the change that people resist.” The transition is the psychological adjustment from what was, to what is the new normal. Every time the seasons change I go through an adjustment period like most of us do. Part of that adjustment can include a feeling of loss.


William Bridges, in his book Transition speaks of the many losses we experience during times of change. When change takes place in the workplace we may experience a loss of control, a loss of our comfort zone, a loss of competency, a loss of status, a loss of relationships, a loss of knowledge to name a few. During the transition phase of a change, if we experience these losses, they may contribute to a variety of reactions from excitement to withdrawal to disorientation or disengagement.

Are you aware of your response to a change that is occurring in your life right now? How we internally respond to change either sparks our desire to participate in the change or triggers our resistance to the change.

Here is a checklist of questions to help you effectively participate in the change that is happening right now in your life:

  • What have I done to understand the benefits of the change?
  • What have I done to understand why the change is needed, what will change, and what will not change?
  • How have I clarified what is required and expected of me with this change?
  • What have I done to develop the skills needed to implement the change?
  • How will the change affect me personally?
  • What have I done to bring my issues and concerns with the changes into the open, acknowledge them, and discuss them?
  • What steps am I taking to have a sense of control (a fundamental human need) during the change?

Be kind to yourself as you transition during the next change in your life – understand what is going on for you internally and use the checklist of questions to help you navigate the change.


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