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Leading your Team through Change

Leading your Team through Change
Author Name: Nadine Zeinoun
Date: May 12 2021
Category: Management

Change holds a lot of uncertainty! 

Change can be confusing!

Change can be frustrating!


Unfortunately, Change is inevitable!!! If not managed well, any simple change can lead to major consequences for you and your team.

But how do we lead our teams smoothly and effectively through times of change?

Here are six simple tips you can use to help you lead through times of change:


1)   Be Comfortable with Resistance!!!

 

Let’s be very clear about one thing; you will find “Resistance to Change” in some or many team members. That is totally normal!


So, what do we do about this resistance? 


Simply, ACCEPT IT and try to be COMFORATBLE with it!


The reason people feel resistance is because uncertainty and change create FEAR in us. People get scared of things they are not familiar with. Remember that there is nothing personal against you. People are just scared! 


So instead of getting all worked up because they are resistant, just accept that, and find ways to make things seem more secure and safe for your team.



2)   Be Curious rather than Judgmental!


How many times have you met people that are different from you and thought to yourself, “What a bunch of weirdos! I can’t work with these people”. 


Well, that is only normal! Every second, our brain is constantly scanning and asking “Are they Like Me? Is this Like Me?....Like me? Like me?”. And guess what? When something is identified as different, we get scared and tend to judge it!


Having resistant people in our teams is scary to us, and that is why we tend to JUDGE this behavior and JUDGE the person eliciting this behavior. And, of course, that creates more fear and tension among us.


To be able to lead my team through change, I need to get myself out of judging their resistance and their fear and put myself in a state of curiosity. “What is making them feel this way?”, “How are they seeing the change?”, “What could I do to help them through it?”… 


From my humble personal experience, curiosity is the antidote for judgement. So get yourself out of “Judgement” and into “Curiosity”!



3)   Listen to Connect with your Team:


Listening is NOT waiting for the right word they utter, so I can use that to convince them that I am right!


Listening is NOT giving them advice and then getting angry because they didn’t do what I said!


Listening is NOT preparing my answer so I can disprove their theory!


Many times, we think we listen to our people, but all we are doing is actually just trying to get our way with them!


True listening, is about being able to free ourselves from our own thoughts, our own beliefs, our own judgments and realities and opening our minds to other people’s truths and realities. It’s about hearing the words, emotions, intentions, values, and experiences of others. It’s about connecting to their world and their own views of this world, without judgment (even when it is very different from ours). 


It is not an easy task to truly “Listen to Connect”. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of humility! However, if you want to be the inspiring leader you have always wished for, it’s important to start “Listening to Connect” right NOW



4)   Help them see the Positive Consequences of “Change” Vs the Burden of “No Change”!


Many times, we get stuck in our current situation because we are not really AWARE of the negative impact the current situation is having on us, or how changing can have a positive impact on our lives.


Coach your team and heighten their AWARENESS about the Benefits of “Change” Vs the Burden of “No Change”!


5)   Break the “Change” into simpler baby steps!

 

When goals are big and challenging, they can sometimes overwhelm us. Breaking them down into simpler baby steps can transform audacious & scary goals into doable easy ones. Take that step NOW and work with your team to break down & simplify that “Change”.



6)   Recognize & celebrate those small milestones!


Last but not least, to create lasting change and keep the motivation flowing, make sure to notice each team member’s efforts and achievement towards this “Change” and recognize them in a way that is motivational to each one of them.


Yes, “Change” can be frustrating and messy, but as you can see, when you prepare yourself for it and you take the above 6 steps, you can transform “Change” into a positive challenge that can create motivation and drive for your team.

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