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Let’s explore, a bit, why change is so stressful to employees. Why do they fear it so much? If you think about a past change that you’ve personally encountered on the job, in your career, or in your personal life within the past year, how would describe your reaction to that change in an emotional context? What did you go through? What are you going through right now?

The Change Process is Difficult

1. We feel powerless and out of control when faced with a change.

When you compare the difference between a change you had no control over versus a change you had input into versus something you wanted to initiate or change, what’s the difference? Control. Control is the most important characteristic of change that’s easy to manage. Lack of control is the number one characteristic of change that’s stressful.

You have control over your friends, your relationships, and your career, and you decide for yourself what’s right and what’s wrong. You decide whether you should stay in this weekend or go out. You decide whether to vote Democrat or Republican. You decide who to see, what to wear, and what to eat.

You have very little control, however, over the government, economic policy, the rise and fall of the stock market, Mother Nature, international events, and yes, company direction. Unless you’re the top dog, you often can’t control what happens to your organization.

Change can disrupt the lives of your employees and force them to modify their plans. Often there is very little they can do, yet they are overwhelmingly affected by it.

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