Managing change

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Tracy Monahan
  • 934th ASTS Commander
The one thing we know about's constant! When change occurs, where do you look to for inspiration? For changes regarding our Air Force lives, reflecting on the Airman's Creed, AF mission, wing mission, core values or even your squadron mission can help to inspire a positive mindset.

Change management entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, and above all, consultation with, and involvement of, the people affected by the changes.
Meaningful relationships can transform the lives of others. Things will always change--it's a process. We don't have a choice about that, but we do have a choice about how we react, respond, think and feel.
It may help to know that people experience four predictable emotions when going through change:

1. Denial- "this can't be happening!"
2. Resistance-"I don't even want to work here anymore."
3. Exploration-"I'm excited about this new opportunity."
4. Acceptance-"How can we work this in?"

Change is the key that unlocks the door to growth and excitement in an organization. We, as humans, need to understand that and understand how we respond.
A current buzz word out there is "resiliency". Resiliency is the ability to withstand and/or grow in the face of stressors and changing demands. The Air Force is implementing training on just this....Resilient Airman. This training concentrates on four specific areas: Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual Fitness. Some squadrons at the 934 AW have already begun this training. See Mr. Mike Sanford in Airman & Family Readiness for more details.

Some additional steps to building personal power and managing change:

1. Change habits
2. Create a positive internal climate that is receptive to change
3. Create a strategy to take action to deal with the new situation

It takes courage to manage change. I recently came across a quote from a Marine colonel (name unknown) at Quantico, VA whose advice was "to get comfortable with the reality of being uncomfortable". In today's environment, this might just be the best advice yet!

Remember, there are multiple great resources available to help us manage change. Achieving personal change will be more successful too if you use the same approach where relevant.