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What's your change trigger?

What's your change trigger?

Nicola Hopes

5 April 2023

You might not know it, but you have a change trigger. (No, I’m not talking about that song that reminds you of your first rejection at the school disco).

And, without knowing it, it’s getting in the way of you being as awesome as we both know you are.

Let me explain. Different types of change affect people in different ways. There will be types of change that you react much more strongly to.

Have you been surprised at how easily you adapted to that new bit of expenses tech they popped on your mobile, but shocked at how strongly you reacted to a change in reporting line?

Or do you get hives at the idea of a new budget approvals process, but relish the chance to change which board or committee does what?

Change isn’t the universal interrupter the way we might consider it. Its impact is complex and harder to predict.

But if you don’t know what change might trigger resistance from you, you won’t be able to foresee it and move through it faster. And as I’ve said many times, change is now a constant and there’s no avoiding it. So, this insight might be a way to make change easier. Not just for you, but for your teams as well.

Put your finger on it

Try the following exercise to figure out what’s going to wind you up like a tightly coiled spring.

Think back over the past 6 months and write down the changes you’ve experienced at work (and at home if that’s helpful).

Which did you embrace like an old friend at a train station? And which did you reject like date night at the Disgusting Food Museum?

Is there a pattern? For those changes you had issues with, do they fall into any of these categories?

  • Change you’re making vs change made to you – that old classic! Do you fall into the trap of defying any external change or influence, good or bad?
  • How about changes to what you get a say on – ‘I’m not on that board anymore and the world has ended’. Then perhaps you fall into the status trap with change?
  • Is it changes to team or report line? Perhaps new people are a threat because it’s hard to get to know new personalities or new expectations?
  • Is it technology change? Maybe you’re a bit of luddite who sees no issue with pen and paper or perhaps you doubt your ability to get proficient?
  • What about process or ways of working change – because you now have to engage your brain and you don’t have time to learn something new? The too-busy-for-change trap.
  • How about increases in responsibility or spotlight roles – because you fall into the perfectionist trap and believe you have to nail anything you do on day one?

If any of those sound familiar – you now know what you’re dealing with. Which changes will feel like they turn your world on its head.

And the reverse of course – it might tell you which changes you’ll run to like a year’s supply of your favourite cookies. More of those please!

So, next time you find you're feeling unsettled by change, you already know the real cause. And that's half-way to resolving it.

PS. And if you're just not sure how confident you are with any change, why don't you take my Change Confidence Quiz!

Perhaps you're a Change Chicken who's honest about needing some support to become more Change Confident? Or perhaps you're a brave Change Conqueror who goes where others fear to tread?

Go on – have some fun and find out here.

When you complete the quiz, you’ll get a bespoke plan that outlines your specific challenges. It includes a step-by-step guide to becoming more change confident and practical tips you can start today. Good luck!

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