If you ask me where I’m from, you’ll hear me stumble for an answer. I moved a lot during my growing-up years. As an adult, I’ve managed to live seven years each in two zip codes, but I can’t claim either place as my hometown. I am just starting to feel at home our new community.

If you ask me what it was like to move so much, I might tell you that I learned to be flexible. Really, though, I just learned to hate the sight of a For Sale sign, so much that even as an adult when I wanted to sell my home, I had to turn away at the sight of the sign.

Change is hard. It’s hard for a 17 year old high school junior moving mid-year and it’s hard for a 39 year old mom of three, settling in a new town.

Whether you face change at home or change at work, staying positive is critical.

Here are two ideas about how to lead yourself (and others) during times of change:

  • Remember who you are. When life and work become unpredictable, ground yourself by being very clear about who you are, including your strengths and priorities. You may not be able to control decisions in your workplace, but you can control your own responses and perspective.
  • Focus on others. If you are uncomfortable with changes at work, others may be also. What can you do to encourage others on your team? Take time to listen. Share specific words of encouragement with your colleagues. Consider what you can do to help others through the transition. When change is happening at home, remember that your attitude and actions will be a powerful influence in your family. In the past, my mantra has been “Don’t make it worse.” A more helpful thought might be: “What can I do to make this better?”
  • Choose to find the silver lining. A change in resonsibilities at work is a chance to learn new skills. A move to a new community might mean being closer to family. Take time to make a list of all the positive effects the (possibly unwanted) change will bring to your life.If you’re having trouble, enlist the help of a friend.

When helping me face the news of a move growing up, my mother found ways to turn my tears to smiles by helping me think about all the fun that awaited in our new home: my own bathroom (!), fantastic programs in a new school, a fresh start. She set a good example for me about how to stay positive in times of change.

Join the conversation!

How do you stay positive in times of change?

What do you to ease your team members through times of transition?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission.