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LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

Equipping yourself to cope with change

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Various skills will help you deal with changing situations but embracing the change will ensure you stay motivated.

We live in a time of unprecedented change, which can have a negative effect on a person’s motivation levels. Change after change is forced on us and, even when you try to keep motivated and stay engaged, your motivation can hit a low. Before you get used to one change, another is imposed on you, which can cause your motivation to take a nosedive. So how can you stay motivated amidst the continuous state of flux that often surrounds you?

You have to see change as a fact of life. Every cell in your body has changed since yesterday, and every cell will change again tomorrow. Therefore, the way to handle it is to anticipate change. Embrace it. Focus on the positive aspects change can bring – look at how it will benefit you and your life. When you resist change it is much harder to bear it.

Getting a sense of balance will help. In most cases, people work to live, we don’t live to work so it’s important to try to get a healthy balance between your professional and personal life. Look after yourself at work and outside of it. Ensure you have support systems in place at work and at home to help you cope with any changes. It will help you to know your limits.

Jobs are being cut, and positions not filled. As a result you may have to undertake someone else’s role. But be accountable and hold others to account. If you are being given more work to do than is reasonably manageable, let your manager know. They are also accountable for the work delegated to you. Do so in writing so there is evidence, but make sure you suggest some feasible solutions.

Change will happen with or without you, so make motivation a habit. Stay motivated and enjoy the rollercoaster.

Tips on staying motivated

Work smarter, not harder. Focus on the essentials, such as record-keeping, and ditch meetings that are not vital.

Know what motivates you and tell your manager and colleagues. In a team, knowing what motivates each other can benefit all of you – work can be delegated appropriately so everyone remains motivated.

Have a clear vision (see where you want to go) and mission (how you will get there), and affirm them to yourself daily. It’s like using a map to see your destination and route.

Learn to work under pressure. Difficulty is part of the game and overcoming challenges is rewarding.

Aim to be better, not perfect. Perfection drains you. Accepting you can be better leaves room for growth.

Finish what you start. Multitasking can leave you with uncompleted tasks; finishing them will give you a feeling of accomplishment and the motivation to take on other tasks.

Inject fun into your work. Take it seriously but don’t forget to enjoy it. This will stop you feeling negative or bored and will boost your motivation.

Ruth Oshikanlu is a nurse, midwife and practising health visitor in London. A coach and managing director of Goal Mind, she also works with individuals to uncover and analyse their key motivators, and coach them to perform at their best. Ruth is also a Queen’s Nurse.

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