Leader's Mindset Series -101 | Leading Through Change

Change is inevitable and constant in workplaces. Research by Alan Deutschman (Change or Die) suggests that about 88% of people believe that a change will make things worse for them. Effective leaders understand the change process and actively utilize effective strategies to ensure the transition between current and future state. This includes actively guiding teams through changes such as restructuring, cost-cutting initiatives, strategic shift of practices or other major organizational change.

Common Thinking: I control and contain change for my team.

Leader’s Thinking:
I champion change with my team.

Key Practices to Lead a Team Through Change

  • Clarify, repeat and reinforce key change messages — and tie them to concrete behaviors that can lead to effective outcomes related to a change. Help the team understand the context first, followed by the impact on their work. Offer 1-on-1 conversations, if needed.

  • Set clear team expectations towards driving change.

  • Model the change to encourage the team members to trust and perceive the change in a positive light. 
  • Help your team handle any additional stress by providing timely and frequent updates, empathetic listening and support, and not playing like a victim of the change yourself.
  • Tailor or develop an implementation plan — and get your team involved. Having your team members voices will help in greater engagement, commitment and agility in adapting a change. Integrate delegation and clarify responsibilities.
  • Reset and/or re-prioritize goals and expectations at both the team and individual level. Help team members in aligning the goals.
  • Consider additional learning required for team members to drive change. Embed that in to the implementation plan.
  • Build opportunities for quick wins into the change process — and celebrate them.
  • Remove any roadblocks that are making the change difficult for your team. Some of the roadblocks may include lack of access to resources, hierarchy, operational restrictions, a team member who consistently resists change and detrimentally impacts team environment, etc. Be proactive in removing or reducing the roadblocks.
  • Coach team members on skills and/or behaviors related to the change.
  • Expect errors and thank people for their efforts. Have high expectations but acknowledge the diversity of personalities and how individuals adapt to change differently. Provide tailored support as needed.
  • Recognize team members who adapt and excel in the new environment.
  • Pace yourself by scheduling reminders to measure and communicate the value of the change over time.
  • Embed the change into your team’s culture for today and the future.
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Sahil Sharma
Talent, Learning & Leadership Development Professional | Certified Leadership Coach

For consultation and services, contact us at www.ledxlearning.com