Change is on my mind this week as my wife and I are moving house, our 11th move since getting married. Our moves have not just been to new houses but also to new countries and back. Just as a bonus, due to the current nature of the housing market, we are renting temporarily before reaching our final destination making 12 moves in total! We are thinking this must be the final one! Moving house is inevitably about dealing with change and each of us approaches change differently. Change, as we have seen over the past couple of years, has become a constant; thriving in it, doing it well, depends on how you view it.
How do you react to change?
Change itself is not negative. My observation as a leader would be we don’t like change done to us – we want to understand the change and be collaborated with through it. As a leader you have a responsibility to lead change but if it is to be successful then the way you communicate it and lead your team through it will be key.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
When you react negatively to change, you need to ask what is going on within you to produce that reaction. As an individual you won’t arrived at this point without life experience. Your experience of change and the data you rely on to make decisions all play into how you can manage yourself so you thrive instead of just survive. As leaders how you manage change will be crucial to its success.
As a leader you will be leading the change, you may know exactly why that change is necessary. Different members of your team will hear change through different filters and reactions will range from excitement to fear and anxiety. How do you help people on your team manage change?
A story of change
A man came across an emperor moth cocoon, as he was walking through undergrowth one day. The moth remains in this state for some time, as it spans the winter months. He put the cocoon in a small clear tank and waited for something to happen. Eventually a small hole appeared at the bottom of the cocoon.
For some hours the moth pushed itself through this hole until the top part of the body was visible, but not its wings. It seemed that nothing was happening. So much time passed that the man decided to give the moth a hand. Using a knife, he made the hole wider and sure enough the moth was able to emerge. However, it’s wings were all mishappen and it was unable to fly. It didn’t last long.
You see although the hole was small, the process of emerging through it pushed liquid into its wings for them to function correctly. Squeezing through that hole, difficult as it was, was crucial to what it was to become.
For the moth to become what it was designed to be it had to change. The hole or challenge in your case is important to what you can become. The challenge may look impossible, but in any change it is only by focusing on the opportunity the other side of it that we can approach the change with a good attitude.
Questions Leaders Should Ask:
What’s the nature of the change?
Am I clear about why the change is necessary? Am I convinced it is necessary?
How do the members of my team approach change?
Who can help me lead this change to communicate and connect with every voice in the team or in the organisation?
As a leader you have one view, but it is not the only one. In order to navigate change well you will need to collaborate with others who see things differently, to understand their perspective before you roll it out to all.
“Most people don’t like change. They revolt against it unless they can clearly see the advantage it brings. For that reason, when good leaders prepare to take action or make changes, they take people through a process to get them ready for it.” John C. Maxwell
Do take advantage of a complimentary discovery call with me. I would love to help you lead change well.