What’s your default change response?

Do you move from 0 – Me in 60 seconds?

You’re not alone.

As part of our threat detection response during any perceived threat our amygdala kicks in and spirals us into a reactive state, rather than a constructive state.

Put simply, our brain thinks we’re about to be eaten by a dinosaur. It’s not interested at that initial moment about facts such as whether the dinosaur even exists, or if it does, whether it will actually eat you (perhaps it’s a herbivore).

There’s just a big neon sign going off in your brain screaming POTENTIAL THREAT TO ME – RUN!

Sure, this brain pattern worked really well in those days where real threats did exist, or if you’re a lion tamer. But in our modern workplaces it’s not that helpful.

Particularly if ‘change is a constant’ in your workplace.


How to change your default response from 0 – Me to 0 – See

Reflect on your default pattern when you hear the C word.

Do you respond or react?

React may look like defensiveness, negativity, criticism of the change. Not being open to seeing how the change may bring opportunities. Or not being able to see above your own individual impact and understand the business reasons and the ‘greater good’ to the workplace and its customers.

Respond looks like taking that moment to let the amygdala do it’s crazy thing, and then processing constructively. Moving into curiosity mode.

Asking initial questions such as:

  • What might the business reasons for this change be?
  • What will happen if I/we/the workplace does make this change? Versus what if it does not?
  • Where are there opportunities in this change?

Or doing some deeper reflection to pinpoint your concerns around change, such as:

  • Who can I discuss my concerns with to help me work through my initial reaction to be more constructive?
  • What might be triggering my reaction? Is it a past change that was poorly managed?
  • Are there too many changes simultaneously in play? Am I concerned about the impact on my work performance in trying to manage this change?


Change brings about a myriad of complex responses

Start identifying your default pattern in response to change and focus on responding not reacting. Taking that moment to find the facts not the fear.

You might enjoy this Blog for further reading on this topic.

If change saturation is a problem for you read this Blog for tips on how to manage.


Helping you and your teams embrace & grow through change

I cover these aspects and much more in my Embracing & Growing Through Change workshop. If you feel this might help your teams reach out to discuss booking this for your workplace.

Tan x

Tanya Heaney-Voogt

Director & Principal Consultant
MBA, ICFACC, MAHRI, Dip Mgt, Dip Coaching, Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner
E: tanya@tanyaheaneyvoogt.com

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