As a heart-centered leader and/or changemaker, it is important to support others within your team and/or organization to embrace change. This may be easier said than done. Here are a few “tried and true” strategies.
- Openly discuss upcoming changes; (e.g. new leadership, reorganization) and ask people to share how they are feeling about the changes
- Communicate about the changes and openly discuss how they may impact you and your team
- Ask how people would like to be supported during the change process. I so relate to Brene Brown’s work, the examples she shares in “Dare to Lead”, and the importance of scheduling “rumbling sessions” during times of uncertainty and change. For example;
“These changes are coming hard and fast, and I know there is a lot of anxiety … I want to spend the next forty-five minutes rumbling about how we’re all managing the changes” (p. 35).
- Encourage those team members who are uncomfortable with change to start slowly and integrate small changes into their daily routines (e.g. drive to work a different way, when dressing if they usually put their right leg into their pants first, start with their left leg, try sleeping on the other side of the bed … . Change is like a muscle; the more you welcome change into your life, the easier it becomes. Ariane de Bonvoisin in “The First 30 Days – Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier” identifies six “change demons” and their antidotes. The six change demons are: fear, doubt, blame, guilt, shame and impatience. She explains that the change demons “help us navigate through change by alerting us if we are off course and encouraging us to choose a different emotion to help us get where we want to go.” (To learn more visit: https://pamela-thompson.com/can-reduce-fear-change-power-beliefs/)
- View embracing change as a creative process that opens us up to new possibilities (a foundational belief of my “Art of Change Framework”- https://pamela-thompson.com/2017/10/), and speak with your team about the value of internalizing this belief.
- Use the change process as an opportunity to be creative and innovative and create space and opportunities for team members to share innovative ideas. William and Susan Bridges in their book “Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change” share some excellent examples of this.
- Create a culture that encourages and rewards teams for trying new things and learning from them. This might include identifying and reflecting on past “failures” and building on lessons learned. An example is the annual Engineers without Borders report – https://www.ewb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/EWB_FAILURE-REPORT_EN_03-08-2018-pages.pdf
I’d love to hear from you what strategies you’ve found effective to support others in your groups, teams and organizations to embrace change. I welcome your comments and ideas below.