Apr
21
 

How to lead through change

How to lead through change

It’s a common refrain throughout many organizations – “The only constant around here is change.” Whether it’s changes in structure, the introduction of new initiatives, leadership changes, or technology rollouts, leaders are being asked to successfully navigate and lead change – and often at an alarming pace. A recent post in Entrepreneur magazine by Amy Fox offers three steps for leaders to take in order to support employees through rapid, constant change. Fox suggests the following:

  • Connect more with employees – Walk the hallways, engage with employees, and be fully present in conversation.
  • Master the directive versus collaborative dilemma – Avoid the tendency to adopt a “telling” approach and look for opportunities to motivate and energize employees through collaboration.
  • Expect and coach to continual change – Use coaching skills to help employees work through resistance to change and make communication a central tenet of your change leadership.

And three additional steps to employ are:

  • Recognize that one size does not fit all – Just as one way of managing cannot effectively work for every member of your team, one way of leading through change will not work for all employees. Be aware that each of your employees’ individual styles, needs, experiences with change, competencies, and attitudes will influence how they react to change, what information they will expect and need about the changes, and what aspects of the change will be most important to them.
  • Ensure that you and your peers in leadership are aligned – We often hear that a big source of frustration for employees during change is the lack of agreement and consistent messages from above. If top leadership is not in sync about the rationale for a change or speaking from the same page about how the change will be implemented, then mistrust and confusion will take hold and rumors will become the main source of information and misinformation among employees.
  • Celebrate and acknowledge movement forward – With any change there are often several steps forward and a couple backward. To incent and highlight positive momentum, take the time to recognize those who have led the way, which can happen at any level, and those who supported efforts to implement the changes.

Gone are the days when changes were periodic events. This fast-paced digital world requires organizations to stay ahead, be flexible, and remain in a steady state of change and evolution. And the same is true for leadership – stay ahead, be flexible and remain in a steady state of personal change and evolution to be most successful and effective.

What steps do you take to help your employees keep pace with constant change?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

To learn more about ways to successfully lead through change, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit: digitalista/Bigstock.com

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