April 30, 2015
We all know them, those people I call “feet planters.” They are employees who plant their feet and say, “That will never work. We tried it in 1995. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.” Or, “I don’t care what my manager says. My way of doing this is better.”
Change is the one thing you can count on in the workplace.
If there is one thing you can absolutely count on in your workplace, it’s change. You are sure to experience change, regardless of your occupation. Employee turnover, technology updates, new managers with new expectations, process improvement, policy changes, and company culture overhauls take place all the time. These can be daunting transitions, especially because humans have a natural instinct to resist change.
How you respond determines how you are perceived.
You have basically two options available when you are introduced to workplace change. You can choose to embrace it, or you can expend a great deal of energy trying to avoid or deny it. The way you choose to respond to change will send a strong message to your boss. Companies need to frequently introduce change in order to keep up with the competition and position the business for future growth. Business leaders respect and greatly appreciate those employees who are flexible and can quickly adapt to change. Conversely, employees who resist change quickly lose the respect of management and their more progressive co-workers. They are often viewed as barriers to progress. Unwillingness to be flexible and adapt may prohibit or derail career advancement.
A willingness to embrace change is an investment in your future.
Businesses thrive when they embrace change. The same holds true for individuals. You can significantly increase your career success by adapting your work style to embrace the changes in your workplace. Here are four ways to embrace change and advance your career.
Demonstrate your flexibility.
Being flexible is also about being versatile within your vocation. You must showcase your skills in a way that demonstrates your ability to accommodate the demands of work, as well as the needs of your co-workers and superiors. With seemingly limited resources in today’s economy, employees must adapt to accomplish more with less, and work quickly through it all. This requires the willingness and ability to adapt your work style in new ways, supported by a positive attitude.
Communicate clearly and purposefully.
Carefully observe the behaviors of your co-workers and supervisors so you can adapt your communication style in order to suit individual preferences. Some people prefer email messages to phone conversations. Others prefer face-to-face communication. Taking note and adapting to these differences will show your co-workers that you value them, and will play a key role in making you a respected team member.
Participate in the changes.
When change is introduced, this is a perfect first response, “This looks interesting. I would like to learn more.” But the response that will create the greatest success for you is, “I will do everything I can to support these changes and will take an active role in helping to implement them as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”
Maintain a positive attitude.
Your attitude speaks volumes about the type of person you are and we know that attitudes are contagious. No one respects the employee who says, “That’s not part of my job description,” or “I’m unwilling to change my schedule.” Expressions like these are sure to hurt you in the long run. Instead, try being the first one to offer a solution that can meet the need in question. Saying “yes” to change may require extra time and energy, but approaching challenges with such fearlessness and drive will significantly help you to be viewed as a valuable asset to your company.