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Why Understanding and Managing Change Needs To Be A Part of Personal and Professional Development

There are of course a number of changes we go through in our working lives as work impacts life and life impacts work; a new job, moving to managerial role, paternity, maternity, restructuring, bereavement leave, long term absence, redundancy, to name a few.

By the time people are in the middle of that change it is often hard to make sense of the experience as people navigate their way through an array of practical changes which leaves little energy, time, and motivation to deal with the emotional impact of change, to begin to ask some really big questions about identify, purpose and the value we bring to the world as a result of change.

The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale) that explored those life events that cause the greatest level of stress by and large all have an element of change to them. Uncertainty about your job can lead to worries about where you live, whether you can pay the mortgage or the rent, your ability to provide for your family, whether anyone else will ever value the skills you bring.

Through the insight I have gathered and the personal experiences shared with me in supporting many people through periods of significant change, it feels clear that we need to prepare people and develop their skills and understanding of change before the change even happens. Seeing it as a journey of self-awareness, learning about ourselves through periods of change and exploring our strengths, values and the support needed to help us through change moving forwards. During major life events we certainly know what and who has helped us through those critical periods and have a better understanding of what is important to us so why not use that as a vehicle to acknowledge and capture that to further our resilience in the future?

Everyone is busy and finding the time to have these understanding and managing change people conversations isn’t always easy to find, especially if the processes feel complex and onerous. So here are a couple of easy-to-use coaching tools to promote and support and individual’s understanding of change you may want to consider as part of a personal development conversation, a pre induction before someone joins your organisation, or as reflective practise.

1. Balance wheel Using a simple balance, snapshot or sometimes referenced as a life wheel you can start to help someone understand what might or has changed for them – be that their financial health, the impact this has had on their family, their sense of belonging, or sense of worth, purpose and value to society. By exploring some of these areas raises what might change which then provides the opportunity to consider what options there might be around managing or actioning some of these needs and the support required to make that happen

2. Autobiographical timeline I have found this has been a great resource to enable people to think about the change that has happened in their life up until this current moment in time. Exploring some of those periods of critical change can really help someone understand the strengths that have got them through change in their life, the values that have kept them grounded during that change and the people who have supported them through it

3. Wellbeing routines Proactively encouraging and holding people accountable to continue to embrace their individual wellbeing plans, habits and routines to support and enable people to have the physical and mental foundations to be able to deal with change

And by supporting people in this way you are providing them with the insight and opportunity to know and feel they can be resourceful, to face change whenever that might come.

If you ever want to explore what this means in more detail for you, your team or your business please contact Dawn at or call 0780 389 1568.

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