This is the first week of Spring – it’s a time for awakening, it’s a time for renewal, or it’s a time for growth! It seems fitting that The Strive Group’s first post is about change.
It goes without saying that change is difficult. If it were easy, “change management” wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar business.
- Change can cripple a well functioning team.
- Change can turn a calm and caring supervisor into an erratic mess.
- Change can reverse an employee’s satisfaction and engagement.
- Change can invite paranoia and sabotage.
Indeed, change is difficult. However, I don’t think “managing change” needs to be. I’ve been helping supervisors, managers and leaders for nearly my entire career and I’ve found that it is often the simplest of solutions that solve the worst of problems.
That being said, perhaps the simple suggestions below will effectively begin to address the complex problem of change.
- Be transparent. People often fear what they don’t know so take the time to explain the Who, What, Where, When, and How of the situation. Don’t forget the Why – it is possibly the most critical part!
- Be fiercely honest. People know when someone is BS’ing them so try a little truth. If you can’t answer something, be honest about why; people would rather hear you say you don’t know or you can’t share than being led on. If the truth is going to be uncomfortable, be uncomfortable; people would rather hear a tough but honest answer than a load of crap.
- Be the example. Most of us can spot hypocrisy a mile away so don’t tell people to keep an open mind, try something new, take a risk if you aren’t willing to practice what you preach.
- Be empathetic. People want to be heard and understood so don’t blow them off or suggest they are fortunate in other ways. And, by all means, don’t argue with them; creating defensive communication while attempting to get someone to embrace change is useless.
- Be patient. People don’t like to be rushed so give them some time to get used to the idea. If this means you need to engage in some pro-active communication and address a situation now, do it!
- Be grateful. People want to be recognized when they have stepped out of their comfort zones so thank them for their willingness, their open mind, and their trust.
As I said earlier, change is difficult. However, I am confident we can move towards and through change in a more positive manner if we begin to demonstrate the simple behaviors described above.
This may present a need for a change in you and how you behave; how providential is that?