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6 Ways to Deal with the Upheaval at Work

Oct 18, 2021

If you’ve ever had things fall apart at work, you’re already quite familiar with upheaval at work. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do.  Uncertainty and chaos happen even at work.  Whether you are the boss or the low “man” on the totem pole.  It happens every time you get a new boss, you start making significant policy or structural changes. It happens when things out of your control, like a financial downturn, the economy tanks, the competition starts targeting, or a pandemic invades. Though let’s face it, even those small changes in the office or factory can create tension and make it difficult to get things done.

Dealing with upheaval at work isn’t hard, though, so long as you keep your head. Remember, the Bible says, "whatever you do, do well." (Ecclesiastes 9:10) The next time things get complicated, try these tried and true methods to get you back on track.


Sometimes the smartest thing you can do in a crisis is absolutely nothing at all. You need to stop and think, is an emotional reaction going to cost you in the long run?  Start by taking several deep breaths and think about what to do next. Not to mention you will win some bonus points if management or those you lead notice you are the one keeping calm and acting rationally.

Stay Positive

Getting caught up on the negative isn’t going to help anything. You’ll only spiral down into a cycle of blame and complaints, ending on a lot of finger-pointing or negative self-talk. This is the time to be the solution rather than the problem. Sure, things went wrong, but if you can keep your optimism, you’re more likely to find the opportunity in all of this, which is worlds more productive, not just for you, but for your coworkers as well.  Those that continue to bring solutions to the table are the ones who become the influencers in the organization.

Learn from the Situation

Speaking of opportunity, any upheaval is fodder for a learning experience if you let it become one. Step back and look at the whole situation rationally. Look for the lessons, and then ask yourself how you can apply them to prevent the next time. 

Talk to Your Coworkers

At work, you have a rich resource just waiting to be used. Draw on the talents and abilities of those around you. By banding together and brainstorming, you’re more likely to come up with a viable solution than you ever would working alone.

Eye on the Prize

You have a particular goal in working where you do. Remember this goal now. What can you do at this moment, which will put you back on track toward your goal? How can the upheaval maybe benefit your long-term goal? Now might be the time to act.

Expect Disaster

Well, of course, things are going to go wrong sometimes. I have said it before, expect the best, prepare for the worst.  Situations change, and in any workplace, there are many moving parts to keep things going smoothly. By being prepared for the things which could go wrong, you can head off a lot of what might be an upheaval in the making.


Want to go a little deeper in how to handle chaos, uncertainty and upheaval in your life.  Check our the new resource Thrive: Move from Surviving to Thriving during Upheaval.  

Check it out Here!

Go deeper in your leadership with the Lead with Diligence Bootcamp.  Become a leader that lasts and people want to follow.

Check out the LD Bootcamp Here

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