It’s up to you to be masterful at leading others through change. There is no better time than now to get to work:
“The only thing that is constant is change.” — Heraclitus
You have heard it before: The only constant is change. But what does that actually mean? That everything is changing all the time? That change is ever present? That nothing stays the same? Well, yes, all of the above. The boss leaves, a new direct report comes on board, the department is made redundant, the project got nixed. All of that can be kind of scary.
So, how does one cope with it? If everything is in flux, what can you hold on to? What framework will help to make sense of it all?
This is important. Humans get scared easily. They don’t like uncertainty and they fear the unknown. And no one likes quicksand. But what is there that one can hold on to in order to get a sense of security?
All change goes through a certain process, a wave of sorts. It applies to all change, whether it’s happening to your body, your mind, your environment, the people around you, everything. The cool thing is that it is always the same process. Only the person or the reality changes. I have seen it in countless coaching conversations.
The difficulty is in how to respond to that change. Without awareness, you will initially most likely react emotionally, with denial, or anger or frustration. But with increased awareness, one can learn to respond to change. By looking from the outside, the change process becomes visible. You can observe what’s happening from a different plane. At first it is hard to do when you are in the thick of things, but with practice you can elevate your mind to see what you couldn’t see before. So, let’s see where you are currently in the change process, personally, as a leader of your team, and as a leader of your company.
Why is it important to understand where you are in the change cycle?
Managing change and leading others through change is dependent on your ability to anticipate what’s next. Now that does not mean that you can predict what will happen. By gaining an understanding of where you are, where your team is, and where your company is in the change cycle you can understand what part of the process has to come next. Understanding where you are in the change cycle will help you to make sense of what is happening. And it might give you some more control of your destiny.
How do you determine where you are?
See the figure below. Identify where you are on the curve. Next, identify where your team is on the curve. And lastly, note where your company is on the curve.
What are you noticing?
Ask the following questions:
If you are in the valley of grief, meaning at the bottom:
What am I grieving about? What actions do I need to take in order to pass through the valley of grief?
What actions do I need to take to progress personally or with my team?
Bonus for leading your team through change: You want to keep the downward slope as short as possible by helping people through fear, threats. You want no more than 15% of your people to be in the valley of grief. Equally, you want only 15% of people on the height of the curve, where they feel on cloud nine. The best teams are the ones that have 70% of the team members on the gradual acceptance part of change. Here is where they grow the most, they are not stagnant, but learn and stretch themselves. They are willing to get out of their comfort zone. That’s where companies and leaders grow the most. Be there!
And if you need help reach out to me directly.