Change Management - Staying on Course | Part 2 of 3

Change Management – Staying on Course

| Part 2 of 3 |

Change Management – Staying on Course

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

- Epictetus, Greek Philosopher -

As our President announced new conditions for South Africa and in particular businesses coming back from lockdown, many of us are confronted with a multitude of emotions. This pandemic continues to take us into uncharted territory. The uncertainty fuels anxiety. Our growing frustration and concern about our physical health and safety, our jobs and our economy remain a reality we have to endure for a while longer.

We can take comfort in knowing that these emotions are not only natural but also normal. Understanding and accepting these emotions allow you to still function rather than feel unsettled, due to avoidance.

Self-awareness and self-regulation are essential skills to staying on course. Ensuring we remain disciplined and adhere to lockdown regulations, especially if our goal is to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones and our future.

Self-awareness means we are conscious of our thoughts and feelings and puts us in charge of our emotions. This means that we:

  • Can make rational decisions rather than emotional ones.
  • Are able to take greater accountability for the decisions that we make.
  • Understand the consequences of our actions.

Conversely, when we lack self-awareness, we tend to be overwhelmed by our emotions which impacts on our ability to make rational decisions and control our behaviours.

Self-regulation involves controlling our thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours in pursuit of goals. It allows us to:

  • Manage disruptive impulses and moods associated with our response to this pandemic so that we can reason, rather than act emotionally. 
  • Reframe our perspective before we act, rather than acting on impulse.

The skill of self-regulation is key if we want to protect ourselves and our families by adhering to prescribed regulations for the balance of the lockdown. 

Bottom line - we need to own up and take responsibility for our actions. Through self-awareness and self-regulation, we can rationally examine and control our response to this pandemic. Should we choose to see beyond the pain and discomfort that this pandemic brings and focus on the bigger picture, we will build our resilience to not only survive this lockdown, but to face the future of our new “normal’.

Contributor: Dorothy Fernandez
Change Management Specialist at Omni HR Consulting

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