How employees can adapt to change

by John Hilton13 Oct 2016
Often when people think about change they see it as a “terrible thing that we have got far too much of”, according to Dr Jenny Brockis, medical practitioner and author of the book Future Brain: The 12 Keys To Create Your High Performance Brain

“We forget that the reason we have survived as a species on the planet as well as we have is because we have this capacity to always adapt to change,” Dr Brockis told HRD. 

“That’s because we have this beautiful plastic brain which changes itself in response to changes we experience in our environment.” 

Dr Brockis said that at the moment there is a common perception that change is happening very quickly and a typical response is to stress.

However, we should accept that change is normal and often very helpful to us because it enables us to grow and develop. It also allows us to look at alternative new ideas and ways of doing things so we can get better at things. 

“Having that perception reduces stress and makes us more open-minded to the benefits that change can bring,” added Dr Brockis.

“But I think the biggest thing of all is to know why a particular change is required. “  

Sometimes - if it’s a change that we have chosen for ourselves - it’s fine, it’s easy, and it’s not a problem. 

“But when we have change hoisted onto us by someone else that’s when we can go ‘hey, who are you to tell me to change this, that or the other?’,” said Dr Brockis. 

Any time we are presented with something new or different our brain’s response is to decide whether this is a potential threat that might be harmful to us or a potential reward which is going to be good for us. 

“However, the brain primarily wants to keep us safe and the default setting is that anything that is being introduced as a new change is a potential threat,” Dr Brockis added. 

“So it’s about understanding why the change is necessary and that makes it much easier to say ‘OK, I understand the benefit it will bring to me and to others’. That enables us to buy into it and actually implement the change.” 

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