How Great Leaders Help Their Team Through Change

At some point, every team must face and adapt to change.  Change can be big or small.  Change can be caused by internal or external circumstances.  Change can be welcomed or resisted.  Regardless, as leader, it is up to you to wisely mitigate the upset that change can provoke and effectively guide team members as they adjust to, and ultimately accept the newly desired state.

Change management consulting experts offer these tips for successful change:

·         Anticipate.  Changes rarely go as planned.  Carefully think through how the upcoming change will affect the team as a whole as well as how it will affect each individual team member. The better you understand the impact of change, the more able you will be to anticipate reactions and lessen resistance.

·         Be Honest.  No change is easy or perfect.  Meet with the entire team to talk about both the positive and negative implications of the change.

·         Share.  Poor communication kills change.  Explain the rationale for the change and why you think it is for the better for you, the business, and for your team. Paint a clear and compelling picture of what the change will look like when successfully implemented for each and every person.

·         Discuss.  Without feedback it is difficult to learn and adjust.  Encourage questions and answer them honestly. The more approachable you are, the more confidence the team will have in the new direction.

·         Prepare.  Change is not for the weak.  Be ready for resistance and guide your team patiently through the process. Expect that some will be more willing than others to make the changes in behavior.

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