Management Articles


11 Ways to Master Change

By: Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, coaches individuals and executives in emotional intelligence, and offers workshops, presentations, trainings, Internet courses and ebooks.  She is a regular presenter for the Royal Caribbean and Costa cruiselines.  Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.

Change has become a constant for all of us, and not only do things change, they seem to change more rapidly all the time.

How can you bolster your resilience to change and learn to manage it better? How can you keep “stress” from becoming “strain”? Here are some tips.
  1. Label it immediately a "transition."

    You are not lost in space (no longer a mother), nor at the end of the line (retirement), nor is it the end of the world (getting laid off). You are in the space between one thing and another -- a transition. You are now going to create the future, and recreate yourself. There is no cause for alarm.

  2. Develop your emotional intelligence (EQ) and start now.

    This is the proactive way to prepare for all the changes in your life. With EQ, you won’t be reactively dealing with each change as it comes along. You will have accepted change as part of your life, and built the life skills you need to keep "stress" from becoming "strain."

  3. Accept change as a "constant" and build resilience.

    Resilience (an EQ competency) means being able to survive loss, rejection, failure and adversity and remain hopeful. The single worst outcome of any change or crisis would be for you to become bitter and cynical.

  4. Handle the emotions through the body.

    If your body is tense, you will be tense. Get out of this harmful closed feedback loop. As Candace Pert, Ph.D. says, our emotions exist in every cell of our body. Exercise, yes, of course, but also get massages. The benefit to your well-being is widely reported in scientific literature.

  5. Get with people who can sing your song when you’ve forgotten it.

    We all have hard times; this is just your time. Rely on the people around you who can remind you of what’s constant in your life – the real you, and them, your friends!

  6. Work with a certified emotional intelligence coach.

    Prepare your self for the future changes that will come by proactively developing your EQ. (And EQ is something you can't "just" read about.) When one thing in your life changes, it affects everything else, and you need more than a Career Coach, a Relationship Coach, or Small Business Coach. You will be dealing with relationships and career and money and emotions and life balance and your business and your kids and your wellness. Work at the meta-level. It’s more efficient and effective.

  7. Don’t judge your emotions.

    Just let them be. The more you consider it bad to feel sad or mad, the more you’ll fight it, and the more power it will have over you. We all prefer what’s called the “positive” emotions, but there are others. Make them all welcome for their time. They all go away.

  8. Don’t worry.

    Worrying accomplishes nothing positive, and can have very detrimental affects. You’re already under stress, and when you worry, you can turn it into strain. Worrying stresses you physiologically and adds to the problem.

  9. Work with an EQ coach who has mastered change.

    In light of the fact that resilience must be acquired, you might interview a potential coach to see what major crises and changes he or she has mastered. The “untested” can only talk theoretically. You’ll hear the difference, and you’ll be living the difference, so it matters.

  10. Learn optimism.

    EQ coaches teach the competency called “optimism.” The level of your optimism matters in crises (and all the time).  Scientific literature supports that optimistic people are more likely to reach their potential, handle crises better, recover better from major illnesses, live 19% longer – and undoubtedly enjoy living more. Get with it!

  11. Last but not least, if you’re going through a major change, prepare to be a stronger person when it’s overif you have developed your resilience.

    “Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals,” said Lou Holtz, American football coach. “I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”
This personal growth and triumph is the optimal result of going through change, but we all know people who cratered under strain. Develop your EQ and your crises can make you stronger, not weaker.

© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2004

Other Articles by Susan Dunn

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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