How to Handle Unpleasant Changes in the Workplace


Did your boss recently implement changes that were not according to your bidding? Are there any future changes in the workplace that don’t tickle your fancy? Do you find yourself constantly opposing every major decision that’s made in the workplace? Well, you’re not alone, and this happens to many people all the time. Of course, the majority of those faced with this dilemma usually result to ‘fight or flight’ tactics. Some use such situations as justifications for their miserable careers while others just keep it to themselves and suffer in silence. These two outcomes are obviously undesirable. And so, in a bid to handle unpleasant changes in the workplace, one should…

See also: 5 Ways to Prepare for Company Changes

1. Find Value in the Changes and Exploit Them to the Max

The human ego is fascinated with perfection:

  • We want things to happen in a certain way and if they don’t, we get pretty much upset simply because the flaws were too big to ignore.
  • This is how the human psyche works, and we can’t help but focus on that tiny flaw irrespective of the vastness of change.
  • However, things might turn out for the best if only you learn to put aside your ego, overlook the flaws and find out changes that might turn your career fortunes around.

But that’s not all…

2. Align Your Career with the Changes for Favourable Outcomes

Now that you’ve found the value in the changes, it would be wise to go a step further and find out how you can integrate those changes into your career. For instance,

  • If working hours are extended, you can use those extra hours to cater for some of the next day’s workload.
  • If the boss decides to demote you to a junior position, you can take that as a challenge to view leadership from an employee’s perspective.
  • In essence, there are so many ways through which you can align those changes with your career intentions for effective outcomes.

However, it would be an added bonus if you…

3. Migrate from Alienation to Consultation

I always encourage people not to give up their right to be wrong. Mistakes will always be there, and no one’s perfect:

  • This means that conflict will always arise in the workplace, considering people’s diverse perceptions.
  • Therefore, the changes might be unpleasant to you simply because you haven’t taken into consideration the perspective of others.
  • After all, ego has the tendency to drive us into making a point even when we’re on the wrong side of things.
  • Prudence therefore calls for us to avoid alienated conclusions and consult others to find out whether our individual perspective might be misinformed.
  • But this can’t happen if you’re egotistical and terrible at admitting your faults.

4. Control the Stress and Emotions That Come from Unpleasant Changes

The thing about human emotions is that they can be conjured up by personal interests, vain passions or even irrational deductions:

  • In this case, emotions can be magnified to the point of making terrible conclusions.
  • Sometimes it’s good to keep your cool because stress won’t make that much of a difference.
  • Unfortunately, as human beings, we have the tendency to respond to unpleasant changes with stress and pent-up emotions on the inside.
  • This should be dealt with to avoid any potential embarrassment.

Speaking of which…

5. Manage Internal Conflict to Inspire Adjustment to Change

Earlier on, I pointed out the tendency we have to aim at flaws like guided missiles. This twisted notion is likely to emanate from someone that has some internal conflicts to deal with. For instance:

  • Personal issues can extend to unpleasant changes in the workplace.
  • Thus, you might find yourself becoming very upset without being sure as to what particular issue in your mind is driving you nuts.
  • Nonetheless, there is no rule in life stipulating that change always has to be pleasant.
  • Therefore, you’ll need to learn how to adjust to change, irrespective of any internal conflict you might be experiencing at the moment.
  • But this adjustment can only be inspired by your willingness to manage any internal conflicts you might be facing at the moment.

See also: How to Learn to Manage Change

The thing about being an employee is that you don’t really own the company. So, unless of course you plan on quitting to prove your point, it would be wise to learn how to be tolerant to unpleasant changes. Plus, who knows? If you hang around for a while, your bidding might be put into serious consideration in the near future. As George Bernard Shaw once said, ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’