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Trauma And Uncertainty: How To Handle Change In The Workplace Using PIVOT

Though ironic, change is a constant in our lives. Nothing ever truly stays the same. When you marry change with a pandemic, there is a heightened sense of uncertainty and an overwhelming amount of trauma.

This reality has not escaped the workplace. Employees across all industries have been forced to adjust rapidly to the changing workforce. Whether working from home, being furloughed, taking part in the great resignation, or dealing with health crises personally, uncertainty in life is at the forefront of our minds.

In a recent study, the American Psychological Association highlighted that adults affected by change at work are more likely to report chronic work stress, less likely to trust their employer, and more likely to say they plan to leave the organization within the following year.

Effectively managing trauma and changes does not have to be an overwhelming situation. Employees must learn to PIVOT to stay abreast of the rapidly changing tides we operate in.

What Is PIVOT?

PIVOT is a strategic methodology that leaders can utilize to aid employees in dealing with trauma and changes in their personal lives or career. The tenets of PIVOT are:

Prepare

Invest

Visualize

Options

Timing

Preparation

There are many idioms and expressions that point to the power of preparation and how it fosters productivity. Its potency also extends to being ready to deal with changes in your personal and professional life. Organizational changes are a constant in the current climate. These can be jarring, but with preparation, coping with change or trauma can be approached with an open mind.

There is a common misconception that change is always negative, especially in the workplace. Through its Work And Wellbeing Survey, the American Psychological Association posits that almost a third of U.S. workers said they were cynical when it comes to changes, reporting that they believed management had a hidden agenda. Change requires reassurance and understanding; leaders must exercise candor and transparency when relating to employees.

Trauma is painful and doesn’t last forever, and change is usually the precursor to more incredible things. Preparation is an excellent tool to be ready for change mentally. Additionally, being informed of the impending change and how they will affect you goes a long way in preparing you for what comes next.

This principle also applies to changes in your personal life. It would be remiss to only focus on changes in your career when a healthy work-life balance requires being present and prepared in both aspects of your life.

Invest

Your time, skills and effort are your superpowers and your most significant resources. Change can seem like an upheaval to our regularly scheduled lives. However, instead, this shift can be leveraged to redirect where and what you do with your time.

You could be experiencing the pandemic epiphany, and you want a career that is more aligned with your passion or interests, or you just want to contribute to an uplifting cause. Whatever your motives, investing your resources is a great way to leverage change.

Visualize

Another way to handle change is to embrace it with wide open arms by visualizing what change looks like for you. Take moments to analyze where you are and visualize where you see yourself or want to be. This may seem simple enough but visualizing the outcome of changes you’re experiencing is a powerful tool to empower you through the changes in anticipation of what you have visualized.

The same goes for trauma. Visualize seeing yourself beyond your current feelings and see how you can work your way towards that.

Options

The next step after visualization is thoroughly looking at your options. Handling change means doing an audit of where you’re at, where you want to go and what you need to get there. Ask yourself what tools you have in your arsenal and what other knowledge you need to acquire to get there.

In your career, this could be upskilling. If you’re battling trauma, then options could be seeking additional counsel or wisdom to assist you in overcoming what you are feeling.

Timing

We may all exist in the same timeframe, but our times aren’t the same. Trust the process. Understand that your timing is unique, and the changes you’re experiencing is where you’re supposed to be. Everyone’s season is different; whether it be a season or a prolonged time, accept your timing and the room it offers for growth.

By utilizing the PIVOT principle, employees will adapt, grow and change with the moving times.

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Contact Angela

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angela.l.swain@gmail.com

Copyright © 2022 Angela Swain Business Psychologist, Change Management Strategist, Theology Coach, LLC. All rights reserved.