Everyone has a different reaction to unexpected change. Some embrace it. Others deflect it all costs. And most of use are somewhere in the middle.
From my decades of experience in HR, Career Coaching and consulting, I can say learning how to positively deal with changes in our careers – from layoffs to new processes – is invaluable. Those who learn how to TAKE CONTROL during times of change will separate themselves from the pack.
But to do this, you must first be able to identify your current change behavior profile – how you naturally respond to change – and the pros and cons that come with it. Only then can you take an honest look at the way you process change and pinpoint the things you must do to better set yourself up for success the next time change comes your way.
This is a major topic in my book, RINGMASTER, which is all about mastering change in your career. Through research, I’ve identified the five types of change behavior profile, and developed an online assessment of 20 questions that determines which of the profiles you are. In the spirit of the book – that career change can be as chaotic as a circus – each profile is based on a circus performer and their traits. Here’s a brief summary of each. Do any of them sound familiar to you?!
Daredevils are high-energy people who need to express their ideas. In a work environment that nurtures and focuses their energy, they can be unstoppable forces for growth, expansion and positive business evolution. They are likely to embrace change as a chance to adapt in the moment and show what they can do.
The Lion Tamer
When change hits, Lion Tamers want action. They get frustrated when there are no clear action steps for them to take in relation to the change being implemented. Like Daredevils, they are open to new changes – they just want a solid action plan to come with them.
Jugglers are constantly weighing options and running “what if” scenarios through their heads. This helps them feel more prepared for the unknown that comes with change. They spend a lot of time interpreting direction, looking for hidden meaning and trying to pin down what it means to them or their team.
The Tightrope Walker
Tightrope Walkers are skeptics by nature. They’ve had to find balance on some very thin lines over the years, and desire hard facts to support any kind of change to what already works. They must firmly plant each step before considering the next.
The Weight Lifter
Weight Lifters have often been in the organization, or at least in a certain industry industry, for a long time. For this reason, they usually feel safe in their roles and believe they are hard to replace. But that can be fatal to their career when unexpected change hits. Weight Lifters are usually the slowest to embrace change, and they don’t like getting out of their comfort zone.