Change. The word alone scares many people. It excites others. But no matter how you feel, it’s essential for moving forward, staying in business, reaching your goals. Think of scenarios like newspapers moving online or super stores competing with Amazon. While we saw these shifts happen gradually from the outside, what was taking place inside these organizations is a different story. It’s one that repeats itself and goes to show that if you stay still, opportunities will move by you quickly. Start getting to understand change so that you can embrace it as a leader and a part of a team.
What We Feel
Emotions associated with change can range from dread or enthusiasm. This time, it’s truly in your perspective. Staying flexible is key, but in order to get there, we must first know how to adapt to and manage change. And it’s best to learn this before a major shift takes place in your organization—because you’ll inevitably get a range of reactions; it’s how you prepare for them that makes the difference for everyone involved.
Why We Feel It
The unknown is a scary concept. It creates feeling of mistrust or loss of security. And if organizational leaders aren’t prepared, people may naturally resist and teams may break apart. But leaders who commit to change management can survive and even thrive during this period not just by preparing but supporting the teams and individuals. This process begins with understanding why people are afraid or reluctant to change. A strong leader can effectively influence his or her team and organization in adopting change by involving team members and helping them feel secure through the process.
When We Feel It
Are a lot of changes coming down the pipe? This can be overwhelming to employees, especially if it happens in a short amount of time or puts additional responsibilities on their plate. But they’re more likely to accept changes if the leadership communicates why change is happening and shows empathy when employees express concerns. To minimize disruptions, it is important to create a implementation and communication plan that prepares employees in advance of the change.
How We Can Approach It
So you’re facing a major change, whether it’s altering the process, providing a new solution or handling rapid growth. This is the time to communicate clearly, assess capabilities and commit to your choices. In the midst of the change, be sure to treat each team member like an individual, with a personalized approach to their fear or excitement surrounding the event. By taking control of the situation, you’re giving your entire team faith in the future. We live in an ever-changing world. One where, just because something worked before, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option now. But that’s tough to face. For leaders. For teams. And for individuals. By creating a safe environment with a flexible foundation, a place where your team feels informed and free to discuss changes, you’ll be prepared to lead them forward, whatever comes your way and add more value to your organization—now and in the years to come.
Worldwide Copyright TJ Associates, LLC DBA Blueprint Leadership Diane Kucala, January 2019