In this video, Lisa and Elizabeth share share how to move with the goal post, and how to help others move, too.
- Companies change their goals all the time. If they didn't, we'd still be talking on landlines and we'd probably be faxing you this course. And the challenge is human beings are neurologically hard-wired to resist change. Change is uncertain, and according to our brain, potentially dangerous, thus the resistance. Most workplace changes, however, aren't as dangerous as our lizard brain might like us to think. Change can be a new customer base or new system or even an extended timeline on a project.
Now no matter how big the changes, the way you manage change will likely follow a similar path. If someone presents you with a change, your first decision is determining where you stand. And as a rule of thumb, unless there are huge flaws, your best bet is to support changes brought to you by senior leadership. Part of being a leader, either formal or not, is doing your best to support the efforts of other leaders. Now even if the change has some small potential errors, you can still be supportive and raise those issues at the right time to the right party.
If you truly object to a change and you can't be flexible, you need to discuss the change with the person who enacted it, or if you can't get to that person, talk to your boss about it. If you genuinely believe your organization is making a mistake, it is your duty to say something. But let's be clear here, as an informal leader, saying something doesn't mean griping at the water cooler about how much work it'll be. If you disagree, relate your concerns to the party in charge privately, or privately to your boss.
Your concerns could stem from a misunderstanding or a simple miscommunication and you don't want to hinder the success of the change by attaching your negativity to it publicly. Next, you have to decide how you'll proceed on your team. If you've made the decision that you're mostly supportive of the change, be all in. As an informal leader, you play a major role in helping others be flexible and adapt, and there are a few strategies you can use to help others through a change. First, show your own enthusiasm.
As people process and determine how flexible they'll be, they'll likely look to you as an informal leader for clues, and they're processing information about your tone and your facial expression, without even realizing it. So smile and be authentic when you're talking about the changes happening. Even if the change requires a lot of hard work, finding the positives and openly talking about them can help your team work through that change. Second, don't ignore the challenges.
Refusing to acknowledge any challenge about the change makes those challenges louder. Recognize potential roadblocks and be willing to discuss your own reservations and how you work through them. And third, back to our point earlier, don't be openly negative. Try to stay positive. If you've expressed your concerns to the appropriate senior party, there's no need to repeat them afterwards to everyone on your team. You don't need to lie if you're asked about how you feel, but don't go out of your way to sabotage the morale on your own team.
If you're the one bringing on the change, keep in mind those involved are going through the same stages of processing. Grant people some time to think and be willing to have a conversation around the potential roadblocks. Dealing with change is challenging, but when it's done successfully, it can be a huge differentiator for you as an informal leader.
- Listening mindfully
- Being a mentor
- Inspiring others
- Asking for and giving feedback
- Leading in high-stakes situations
- Learning continuously
- Building trust