10 Ideas on What to Prepare to Talk About Change at the Workplace

Everybody has a special subject one is searched for advice … In my case, since over 10 years this has been Human Resources and all the subjects involved with it, and of course everything related to Germany, Switzerland, life and work in Europe as an expat and on the other hand also about life in Brazil, of course, as these are the countries deeply linked to my life history.  

Lately I was contacted by two persons who were invited to talk with their direct manager with regards to possible changes in the workplace and did not know how to react. Of course, every case is a different case, and if the conversation is towards firing you, there is no chance to negotiate anything. Otherwise, it could mean a change in your current tasks or a promotion for you, and in these cases I have gathered 10 ideas down below on what to prepare and how to best react to a conversation like that:

  1. Be confident and show your value for the company, show the areas where you are unique and play an important role. Recognize and highlight your areas of expertise.
  2. Remember to mention at least two major projects where your knowledge/your contribution was decisive (the ones which make you proud and were you have played an important role).
  3. Show you know your value in the market and what professionals are paid for in your area of expertise.
  4. If you think it is the right time, mention that sometimes you are contacted by Headhunters through LinkedIn, but you see some important future developments for you in the present company and you believe you can add a positive contribution to it.
  5. Put in a piece of paper all the important messages you want to discuss during this conversation. Write them down and take them with you. If it should be important to use this record for the future, use them as a memo or send an e-mail covering them to the participants of the discussion. When organizing what to talk about, remember to keep your message short and simple. Try to think a bit ahead on how the reaction of the other side could be and try to think about some suggestions on how the conversation could go on after that.
  6. Do not make any drama, do not speak about difficulties. Just be positive, bring ideas to improve your area, show confidence, ash how you can help grow the company and your area.
  7. Should you talk about current challenges, please remember to bring some suggestions on how to solve them.
  8. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions (who/what/where/when/who)… The one who asks questions is the one who is guiding the conversation.
  9. If offered to add some more tasks to your current role, or asked to move to another department, ask questions about the tasks, the new role, the new environment, the new job description, your new stakeholders, who will you report to, with whom you are going to work with, what is the compensation package, etc.
  10. Even if you should not agree with what is being offered, do not react immediately. Try to stay positive, ask for some days to reflect and think later on deeply on the subject.

The truth is that we cannot predict life and changes may result into something better than what you have initially expected. Keep calm and be positive! Everything is going to be all right! And if not… there will be another place where your knowledge will be needed, and another place where you as a person will be valued and needed. Life is a roller coast and we need to be flexible to adapt to change.

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