1) Highlight strengths.
Attract and engage employees, then help them develop and make the most of their strengths. Focusing on strengths will provide personal satisfaction as well as increased contributions to the workplace bottom line. Be sure to validate the team's work and their potential future impact. Validating people has a progressive power as people step into ownership of their
2) Promote ownership.
Help them find ownership in a common vision. Learn what really matters to the individuals on the team and make that part of your motivation strategy. As they learn to take ownership, encourage them by showing authentic humility and respect toward their efforts.
3) Emphasize curiosity.
Cultivate curiosity and a life-long learning organizational culture. Set the example by showing that you are teachable and desire to learn from everyone. People will follow your leading in this and the learning environment that results will reduce stress through acceptance and increase understanding and respect within your team.
" There are big changes on our company horizon, and we want to be as proactive about these changes as we can. What hints would you give us?"
If you are trying to make a change happen, understanding the change process is helpful in letting you know what type of resistance you might encounter from others who are involved. You then can understand how to help move them through the process so that they ultimately accept the change. The following steps should help you help others navigate change.
"I currently work in a company that is going through a big change and the process seems chaotic. How can I help my team move forward in the process instead of standing by and watching the change happen?"
As Margaret Mead wisely counsels: “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.”
After going through the first step of understanding the very real losses that people feel when navigating a change, helping people find a sense of personal control in the chaos will help. Change will always be a part of life and our ability to move through it in a healthy way is critical. Understanding the change process and our ability to make choices in the midst of change will allow us to move through it and give us that element of control. This is true even if we did not choose the change.
During change, the point of critical choices people have the ability to make are the decisions to move forward, accept the change and identify what aspects they can control. If this decision is not made, people will stay in a very unhealthy place of loss, uncertainty and discomfort. Movement away from discomfort in the loss and toward the anticipation of what will happen as a result of the change hinges upon these choices. Accepting the change often requires a conscious choice to accept the change and move forward. It does not necessarily mean the person agrees with the change or thinks it is the best course.
However, the choice to accept the change does mean that the person is no longer at the mercy of the change. It means as they move through the change, they will investigate how the change can bolster what they are doing, how it may encourage them to grow in their leadership, and how it may stretch their understanding of their strengths. On the other hand, staying in limbo and indecision will do nothing for their understanding of the new work roles or the future success of their career.
Once we make the decision to accept the change, things begin to move in a positive direction:
- There is a new energy as we begin to imagine how the change can be a part of our personal mission, leadership, and empowerment
of our teams.
An understanding of the point of critical choice helps minimize the negative effects of the process, helps us see where we might get stuck, and helps us take control to keep moving through the process instead of getting mired in uncertainty and the very real discomfort of going through change.
"I currently work in a company that is going through a big change. The tension and the anxiety are almost palpable. What is a good first step in understanding why this situation is so stressful and what can I do about it?"
The most common error in managing change is underestimating the affect it has on people. Many leaders think if they just tell their employees to change, they will. They do not realize how upsetting it is to give up familiar work patterns. Always remember the potential impact of disruption and allow time for adjustment.
First, recognize the losses that occur with a big change. Regardless of how positively the change is embraced, there is always a loss of something. This is the nature of change – one thing stops so another thing can begin. When a change is first put into place, people are likely uncertain what the effects of the change will be. Because of this, they may be cautious and possibly become stalled as they think about how these losses will affect them. There are several types of loss that are common in the work place.
Each of the losses described has a cost. Any type of loss, even of a work space or familiar technology, can trigger an emotional response that resembles grief. As a leader, you will need to help your team members move past these losses and to accept and move forward in the new direction. People who do not display any feeling of loss often save it up and become overcome by a seemingly small transition. It is healthier to express and acknowledge loss when it occurs so those involved can move through the transition process more quickly.
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