Step 9 - Confronting fear, embracing change

Picture credit: Leonard John Matthews Knowing our personality type helps us understand how we like to approach new situations.

In today's marketplace the change we're most often confronted with is organizational change.

Whether we're hired, fired, merged, or acquired - change is constant.

To make sense of it for ourselves, we need to honor our preferences to help us move through the various stages of the change process. Asking questions and engaging in a dialogue might help:

How do you like to receive and process information? Take time out to review memos and discuss what's happening with your colleagues. Request more detailed or broad strokes as necessary. How do the changes connect to short and long-term goals and visions?

If you're wondering how the decision was reached, ask about which alternatives were being considered that didn't make the cut. It's ok to enquire about the underlying "why" and which values and goals informed the decision. Most companies link their performance reviews to your behaving according to company culture, it's only fair the strategic decisions be measured along the same lines.

How is this change process going to proceed? What are the milestones and how will you know you're on track? Who will be measuring progress and according to which standards? Transparent communication is key, and communication is a two-way street. If you're not hearing any, start the conversation.

We've mentioned Kotter's 8 Steps in relation to personality type and expat assignments before, and I also want to mention Virginia Satir's Change Model. I went through a simulation with Steven M. Smith during an AYE Conference and it really brought home the different stages. You can read an excellent in-depth analysis of it on his blog.

At the end of the day, we fear most that which we don't understand. Try to understand what's going on, and you'll be in a much better position to make sound decisions.