The Goals Posts Keep Shifting

They say the only things that are certain is life is death, taxes and change.  So, what happens in the workplace, and how do you react, when you work for someone, an owner or manager that keep changing the goals and priorities.

For most people, the way you handle this depends on how important it is that you keep this job. If you really need to keep this job, you don’t say anything and do your best to please your boss.

In volunteer organisations, such as sports or NFPs, the desire to remain working will outweigh the need to speak up, even if it means compromising your ethics and principles – or even worse – your happiness and general well being.

For most of us, we are simply not fans of change, and there’s nothing more frustrating than being forced to pivot after you’ve figured out a solid plan of action. However, the way you handle workplaces with difficult or toxic culture says a great deal about your potential, as flexibility and adaptability are considered one of the most critical skills to possess in today’s business world.

The first key to your success is not to take the changes to heart. Companies are huge machines, and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you may not know about. Even if a decision seems to make little sense, it shouldn’t be treated as a personal affront. The last thing you want to do is to visibly demonstrate anger, defensiveness, or general displeasure. It’s important that you are perceived as flexible, capable, and supportive of the company’s direction.

The other key to succeeding in this kind of environment, is getting support. Are there others in the workplace who seem to handle change more confidently? What observations have you made on how they mange their work and behaviour? Are you able to talk to them and ask for their feedback and ideas on what strategies can be adopted that are right for you? Having that support around you when the going gets tough can help you battle the negative feelings and move more quickly into figuring out how to get the work done.

This of course all takes work and sometime the changes and decisions will mean tougher decisions need to be made.