Change – You Can Handle It!

Part 2

12 Factors that affect your ability to handle change


By Wendy Collier, B. Ed.


Summary: For far too many people change is very stressful and they dread it. There are 12 factors that make handling change more complicated than it needs to be. Knowing these will help reduce your stress when a change happens.


We all have to deal with change. Change can be small, large, simple or complicated. Change is in everyone’s lives.


Here are a few changes you will need to know how to handle:

- family structure – extended, split and blended families

- employees leaving

- new employees

- new bosses

- illness, disability

- friends and family moving

- different stages of growth for your kids

- our growth and body changes

- relationship changes – endings and beginnings

- losing family and friends to illness or accidents

- new responsibilities at work

- work routine changes

- workplace structure like moving offices

- promotions, demotions

- finances

- weather and seasons

- time e.g. daylight savings


Yes, even a minor change in daylight savings time affects us. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get your kids to sleep, get yourself to sleep or get up with the alarm the week after the new time?


Our ability to handle change is influenced by 12 factors. They are:

1) past experiences

2) our level of self-esteem at the time the change occurred

3) personal traits and attributes

4) our level of confidence in dealing with life situations

5) our perspective

6) how our brain processes information

7) how we’ve seen others handle change

8) our approach to life

9) our beliefs

10) our need for approval from others

11) our need to be accepted

12) our skills and abilities


These factors make handling change more complicated than it needs to be. For far too many people change is very stressful and they dread it. What seems like a large mountain for some will be a little bump on the road for others.


Changes in the workplace like new employees and new bosses are stressful for everyone. It’s common to feel apprehension, fear and even anxiety about these new relationships and how they will work out. Remind yourself often that you have the skills to make it work. Remember, sometimes a new boss or a new employee can be a positive addition to a team. Keep in mind the successful and working relationships you already have.


The next time you are faced with a change, ask yourself if one of the 12 factors is involved. Is it preventing you from handling the situation in a better way?



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