A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

2

Time for Change

2012 is “the year of the blog” for me and “A Leading Perspective” serves as one of my five 2012 resolutions. It seems fitting that my first post is about change.

I have entered into the new year with mixed emotions.  Part of me wants to charge forward, embrace the changes in my life and welcome the challenges that await me.  However, part of me is desperate to clutch the comforts of the past.

As I reflect upon my personal reservations, I am reminded of how hard change is at work.  Over the past years, I have seen how change can cripple a well functioning team, can turn a calm and caring supervisor into an erratic mess, can reverse employee satisfaction and can invite paranoia and sabotage.

The Thinker :-)

Change is difficult.  If it were easy, “change management” wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar business.

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it is that the simplest approach to a problem often offers the best solution.  That being said, I approach change management in a simple way.  As an HR Professional, I know the value in positive relationships and the below ideas serve to manage change while maintaining a strong relationship.

  • Be transparent.  People often fear what they don’t know so take the time to explain the Who, What, Where, When, and How of the situation.  Don’t forget the Why – it is possibly the most critical part!
  • Be sincere.  People know when someone is BS’ing them so try a little sincerity and honesty when engaging with them.  If you can’t answer something, be honest about it; people would rather hear a tough but honest answer than a load of crap.
  • Be the example.  People don’t like hypocrites so don’t tell people to keep an open mind, try something new, take a risk if you aren’t willing to practice what you preach.
  • Be empathetic.  People want to be heard and understood so don’t blow them off and by all means don’t argue with them.  Creating defensive communication when trying to convince someone to embrace change is about as useful as trying to make my mom’s butter rolls with fat free margarine.
  • Be patient.  People don’t like to be rushed so give them some time to get used to the idea.  If this means you need to engage in some pro-active communication and address a situation now, do it!
  • Be grateful.  People want to be recognized when they have stepped out of their comfort zones so thank them for their willingness, their open mind, and their trust.

As I said earlier, change is difficult.  We can’t minimize just how hard change is for someone because it isn’t affecting us, it is affecting him/her.  However, I am fairly confident that he/she can move towards change in a more positive manner if you demonstrate the behaviors described above.

This may present a need for a change in you.  How providential that you are reading this post!

ChangeEncouragementFearLeadershipResolution

Heather Kinzie • January 16, 2012


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Comments

  1. Buzz Rooney January 22, 2012 - 7:01 am Reply

    Fantastic first post! Congratulations on joining the blogosphere.

    Fear of change is real and legitimate. These tips you’ve provided will definitely help someone. Great job!

  2. Heather Kinzie February 3, 2012 - 10:21 pm Reply

    Buzz, thanks for the comment and yes, fear is real! I’m glad you think the post is helpful! I hope I can continue to provide some pragmatic insights for the leader in you!

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