In the world of business and leadership, change is a constant companion. But whether you’re having to pivot in response to changes in the market, implement new processes, or deal with an increase or decrease in demand, how you deal with change is the most important predictor of business success.
Leading change is not easy. As well as managing your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, you have to look out for your team and steady the ship when things get rough.
But there are some simple things to remember whenever you’re leading the business and your people through change.
Here are 5 things to know when you’re leading through change.
People will resist change and react emotionally to it
Most people don’t like change because change brings uncertainty which makes people anxious and fearful. Depending on what the change is, people may be angry, upset, and even grieve for how things used to be.
It will take time for people to understand, accept, and process the change, and everyone will deal with it differently. The most important thing you can do as a leader is to keep your door open, offer support, and hear people out.
You need to communicate openly and honestly (and don’t forget to listen)
This brings us neatly onto this point. Your team need to be clear on what is happening and why it’s happening, so you need to talk to them candidly about the changes and the rationale behind them. If you don’t have all the answers, say so. But the answers you do have, share them and allow your team to air their views.
And remember, if you don’t talk to your team, they’ll fill in the gaps and the whole thing can become like a game of Chinese whispers. Far better to tell them the facts you do know, right from the start.
You shouldn’t hide away
If employees are angry and emotional, getting out there and facing them may feel downright uncomfortable, but it’s so important. You want to convey the message that you are going to lead them through change and you’re going to go through it together.
You need to keep the aim of the change in mind
Leading a business through change can seem like an insurmountable or undesirable task, especially if you’ve got to do something like make people redundant in the process. You will wonder at times whether the change is actually do-able and whether you’ve got what it takes to see it through.
This is when it’s helpful to remember the objective of the change. Will the business be transformed for the better once the change has been successfully implemented? Try not to lose sight of this.
You need to take care of yourself
In times of change, your team needs a supportive and resilient leader, and there’s much more of a chance that you’ll be the leader they need if you look after yourself. Make time to exercise, eat well, relax, and look for support from a mentor or leadership coach if you’re struggling.
They’ll have been there and done that, and they can help you and your team successfully navigate change for the better.
A final thought
The key to leading change successfully is being open to it. This means that you and your team need to work on being adaptable through training, continuous improvement, and collaboration. Do this, and the next time change comes along, you’ll find it much easier to cope with.
Are you in the process of leading change?
Do you know that change is needed to take things from good to great in the business but you have no idea how to introduce it successfully and keep your team onside?
I can help.
As The People Mentor for winning teams, I can help you identify what’s needed for you, your team, and the business to truly flourish.
My bespoke packages of training, workshops, and support will help you learn how to lead through change and build and develop the well supported, engaged, and energised teams that will supercharge your business performance and profitability.
I know what you are thinking, you’re feeling nervous at the thought of investing in anything right now and that’s completely understandable, but think of my help, guidance, and support as being a way to reduce your expenses and save money in the slightly longer term.
Let me help you do change well and get on the fast track to business success.
Get in touch for a chat about exactly what’s possible.