5 Ways to Manage Your Emotions During a Change

Published by Judy Melson

Maybe your organization’s big audacious goal involves changing technology and processes. Or perhaps you set some ambitious personal goals and are in the throes of marathon training or dieting. Whenever change is involved, some good, bad, and downright ugly emotions are bound to turn up.

To understand just how Emotional Intelligence may help or hinder change, I met with local change gurus from the Sacramento Organizational Change Management Book Club for an in-depth discussion (and a little beer!). We reviewed books, articles, TED Talks, and work experience that linked Emotional Intelligence to great leaders, high performers, improved company performance, and even successful change management.

Here are my top five takeaways to help tame emotions for successful change:

  • Know yourself: Discover your own emotions about the change and be aware of how they may impact others. If you’re not sure, try journaling, ask for a 360 review, or take a free EQ test.
  • Healthy = happy: We can regulate our emotions easier when we feel good. Invest in healthy habits like good sleep hygiene and practicing an attitude of gratitude.
  • Find motivation: Emotional Intelligence doesn’t come easy, you’ll need a sincere desire and a concerted effort. Work relentlessly to respond to emotions appropriately and mix in some optimism.
  • Foster civility: Understand that there are costs associated with incivility. You can foster and monitor civility by hiring, teaching, and rewarding for good behavior.
  • Show empathy: Resistance is normal and should be expected for any change. Here’s a great article that shows how important empathy is in change management.

Cheers to becoming eminent leaders of great Emotional Intelligence! For further reading recommendations or to inquire about the Sacramento OCM Book Club, feel free to contact me at jmelson@highlandsconsulting.com.