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To effectively manage change in one’s personal life, business, family, or organization, a person needs to embrace change as an opportunity to be taken advantage of rather than viewing change only as a danger to be avoided. At the very least, it is critical to develop five characteristics that enhance one’s resilience (keep their energy level up) while facing the many changes that need to be faced every day. These five characteristics (Figure 7) include being positive, focused, flexible, organized, and proactive.
Positive people develop the ability to view life as challenging, dynamic, and filled with opportunities. They appreciate the dangers and threats in change, but are not overwhelmed by them. They ’compartmentalize’ the stress caused by disruptions to prevent it from affecting other areas of their lives.
Focused people determine where they are headed and stick to that goal so that barriers along the way do not become insurmountable. Blocks or obstacles are given the appropriate attention.
Being flexible means being open to different options when faced with uncertainty. Flexible people recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses and know when to accept internal or external limits.
Organized people develop structured approaches to managing ambiguity. They set priorities, but when necessary renegotiate them during change. They recognize when to ask others for help.
The last characteristic of resilient people is that they are proactive Proactive people work with change rather than defend against it. They draw important lessons from change-related experiences to apply to similar situations. They also use resources to creatively reframe a changing situation.
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