This past week, I found myself working with several executives on change management. Not only were they trying to deal with change themselves, they were thinking about how to be helpful when others experience change. How exciting to observe the servant mindset with these executives as they were focused on helping others.
The challenge is if we communicate change initiatives improperly, others might feel manipulated or controlled. In our Dale Carnegie Change Management course, we teach that all of us basically have four keys as to why we resist or see change as a challenge.
Fear of the unknown.
Lack of self-confidence. (Do I have the skills and abilities to adjust?)
Lack of flexibility. (I know how I want things to be and I like the way things are right now.)
Thinking about the worst possible outcome and adopting a negative attitude toward the change and/or the people who are instituting the change.
What then does a servant leader do?
Communicate, communicate, and communicate more – not just what but, rather, why.
Frame the conversation or your message with positive benefits for everyone.
Give people an opportunity to digest the information and ask questions.
When possible, give choices.
Talk about how you processed the change or changes you have made in the past.
Throw down a challenge to think positively about the change.
Be warm, empathetic, and helpful as others process and implement the change.
Keep in mind, most people naturally resist change. When was the last time you woke up and said, “What a day! I hope someone is going to force a change in my workflow today!”
Here is a final thought from Dale Carnegie human relations principles when you are preparing to institute change with others. “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
Book launch this Labor Day!