The Best Kind of Goal for Managing Change

I attended a workshop recently which was about change and how people deal with it. My goal in attending was mainly to learn more about myself and how I react to change that I didn’t originate (that is, a change imposed upon me).

I learned much from this workshop. One key point was to focus on learning instead of on performance during such a time of forced change.

Here is a tip I found useful: If your first reaction to something unfamiliar is, “I can’t do that,” instead say, “How do I learn to do that?”

The course taught*: “When facing a challenge, some people adopt performance goals which focus on demonstrating a certain level of competence. Others adopt learning goals which focus on increasing their capability. Learning goals are generally more helpful than performance goals during periods of change.

People with learning goals tend to see setbacks as information about the effectiveness of their strategies and become motivated to keep trying. They understand that learning new skills often requires going through a phase of awkwardness, confusion and failure.”

Knowing that on the other side of confusion and awkwardness is the learning, keeps me keeping on learning.

I hope you found this useful. Please let me know how you implement it in your work.

* excerpt from Developing Resilience During Change by Gregg Brown, Tidal Shift Inc. – for more info contact

Brenda Fay