Oh No, Not More Changes!
Change is such a fascinating thing. There are so many nuances to it:
- We want a change but the change doesn't happen
- We don't want a change but the change happens
- Change happens but it isn't what we expect
- We want the change but it takes longer than we had hoped
- We want the change but it happens faster than we are prepared for
No matter how we view change it is inevitable that we will encounter a lot of changes in our life. We won't like all of them, we'll probably love some of them, we will be impacted by all of them.
If you are leading a change, things to remember:
- Communicate - Whatever amount of communication you think you need on the change, double it at a minimum. I would recommend 3-4 times the amount of communication that you would think you would need. Communicate 1-on-1, group presentations, written, visual the more ways you can communicate it the better you will be able to make it stick.
- Repeat - You can't just get the word out once about a change and be done. You probably need to talk about it multiple times so everyone understands.
- Listen - Ask for feedback. Find out what people are concerned about. What they are excited about. How they think you could make it even better.
- Humble yourself - Be willing to admit if something needs to change because it didn't work. Most things aren't perfect the first time out, figure out what needs to be tweaked to get it right. Even if it is your idea.
If you are being led through a change, things to remember:
- Ask - Never assume you are the only one that doesn't get it. If something doesn't make sense to you chances are others are confused too, they are just as afraid as you to ask the question. Only way to have everyone on the same page is if everyone understands.
- Keep an open mind - there is always room for improvement, in anything we do. Just because it is how it has always been done doesn't mean you should keep doing it that way.
- Help - Fighting against a change rarely does any good. If there are reasons you think it isn't going to work, share your solutions how to make it better so it does succeed.
- Humble yourself - Be willing to admit if something needs to change because it didn't work. We are imperfect human beings so we can all improve in the things we do.
Taking people through changes is one of the hardest things because everyone has a different view of the impact the changes have on them. Communication is the only way to overcome any of it, it starts with the leadership but it relies on every one of us.