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By Diane Stafford

RISMEDIA, January 8, 2009-(MCT)-Change. Change. Change. No question about it. Change is the word for 2009. Much of the shape that change takes is out of your individual control. Or is it?

You may not be able to chart health care reform or beef up payrolls or design the economic stimulus plan. But if you buy into the mindset of Joe Takash, author of “Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit Through People,” you may be able to shape your personal career situation more than you think.

Takash, who runs a performance management consulting firm, talks about six “triggers” of change that you can pull:

1. Eliminate self-limiting beliefs. If you catch yourself saying, “That’s not me” or “I couldn’t do that,” take time to reassess the barriers you’ve erected for yourself.
2. Ask for honest feedback. Your bosses and co-workers, if asked, may share thoughts about your performance (or people’s perception of your performance) that can be very helpful.
3. Take ownership. If you assume responsibility for every project you’re involved with (even if the buck doesn’t really stop with you), you’ll naturally work harder to improve the results. And that is likely to be noticed.
4. Be willing to change. If you’re too comfortable where you are, too stuck in the mud or too resigned to stick it out with something you really don’t like, little good will happen for you.
5. Be accountable to others. Think about dieters’ success at Weight Watchers, Takash says. Those weigh-ins keep participants motivated. Similarly, checking in with co-workers or your project team will help you stay on course and be driven to do well.
6. Do what you intend. Takash calls that “consistent behavior implementation.” You’ll be judged on your actions, not on what you’re thinking about or what you say you’ll do.

In this job market, you can do all the right things and hold all the right attitudes and still be overlooked or even let go despite your best efforts.

Just try not to wait for change to happen to you. Grab control however you can and manage the change.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star.

© 2009, The Kansas City Star.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.