Change preparation – are YOU ready? 8 important questions

Change preparation – are YOU ready? 8 questions to get started

Change preparation should be psychological as well as physical. How much preparation you require depends on how you personally react.

by Jan Underdown

Change preparation

Change is inevitable whether it involves our professional or personal environment, whether it’s initiated by ourselves, or by others. Change preparation should be psychological as well as physical. How much preparation you require depends on how you personally react to change; whether you embrace it, need to plan for it, think about it, or get dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

Psychological and emotional

Some changes may make us question our ability to cope, and fill us with dread.  What will the impact of the change be?  Will I be strong enough to get through this?  What will the new “state” involve and how will I fit into it?  Will I have to change as a person?  Will I like the people and will they like me?  Change may highlight our lack of confidence and lead to a great deal of stress.

As you journey through the highs and lows of your change experience, accept and give yourself permission to feel the dread, the confusion, the depression, and the acceptance – try and understand your emotions.  Also consider those of others, especially if you are ahead of the curve and they are yet to experience the emotions you have already gone through.

You may wish to look for coaching to provide support, and trigger the conversations that ask the questions which lead to a vital understanding of your emotions and challenges. Coaching can provide the confidence to prepare for, and even embrace, the change that the future brings.

Look out for like-minded people – those who will provide challenge, and those who will support you.

Do you believe in the change and are you committed?  The answer to this question can make a huge difference to the outcome of the change and its impact.


Depending on our personalities, some of us find any type of change challenging, even if we also find it exciting. Some may want to plan, do something tangible to prepare, and clear the ground to make way for the change. 

Do what you have to do to get ready; which may involve carrying out some research to understand the reasons for the change and what your options may be.

Try these 8 steps to prepare for change, to identify any gaps

1. Do you have a clear picture of how the end point will look and feel?

2. Do you have the necessary respect and recognition of others to enable you to lead this change?

3. Do you know enough about yourself to know when you might be vulnerable during this change?

4. Have you gained adequate senior level support?

5. No-one is an 100% all-rounder. Do you have people in your management team who will make up for your weak areas?

6. Do your loved ones outside work know what’s coming and what you will need from them?

7. Do you know what your values and ground rules are around making this change?

8. Are you 100% committed to going ahead?

(Cameron & Green)

If on reviewing the above list you find that one or more of these things are causing you concern, then perhaps it’s time to take action and prepare.  You could discuss the change with someone (colleague, family member, friend or an independent coach), research the change, evaluate it in terms of a “for or against” list, carry out a personal SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), or clear out the old to enable the new.

Considering these 8 steps will help you identify your readiness for change – a critical prerequisite for the success of any change initiative.

With change the driving force behind any significant project or programme, CUPE can help lighten the challenge by guiding you through an effective process that’s bespoke to your needs and mindful of your people. To find out more visit our contact page to get in touch.