Author: Jane Dinh Date: 29 Feb 2016 During the last year of my internship, I was aware of how important change management is in a health management career. We use change management in almost every aspect of our work from being change-oriented to leading change. These are also competencies we have to gain as part of the ACHSM Health Management Internship Program (HMIP). I have come to understand change management and reflecting on what this means, I was able to see a connection that change management has in our personal lives. Coming from a Vietnamese background, I had strong cultural influences and often found it difficult to communicate with my parents and future in-laws. Sometimes we try to have a conversation with our parents and it becomes too difficult that we just give up. Our expectations and values can be different and sometimes our parents don’t want to accept that we are all growing up. This is where we can use change management strategies to enhance our communication and better understand our differences. The key steps in change management are: initiating change, planning change, implementing change and making it stick. We can use these steps to provide us with a framework and incorporating them into our communication strategies. Start by communicating your vision so that they can be involved in the journey. If they have any concerns, then discuss this openly. I have found this more difficult in reality as people can’t honestly tell you what upsets them, especially if it is an irrational fear such as losing control or accepting their children have grown up. This is where your understanding and persistence come into play. You can’t give up because it is too difficult to get your point across but rather try and find a common ground. It will pay off – I can assure you. When you are communicating with your parents be sure that you are prepared with all the facts and figures and have thought of all the responses. Ensuring that you have covered all bases will show that you are organised and prepared so they will have less to worry about. Give them opportunities to be involved but be firm on where decision-making rights start and stop. There are some things you can’t compromise, so be sure that you never lose sight of this. The best advice that I was given was ‘the easiest decision is not always the right one’. Persisting in building strong relationships with your family will ultimately help you grow as a person. This is also true for your working relationships and challenges you to handle conflict and find ways manage and facilitate this. If all else fails, then at least you have tried, right? Practice makes perfect and the more often you try and get your point across, the greater the chances it might actually work!