In the post Managing Through Change I asked what do you do when change occurs and I promised some strategies for managing change. This post will walk through those strategies.
To actively manage the change happening around you, you first need to know your role in the change. You may be any of these, or you may even be each of these at some point:
- Decision Maker: You have a lot of control over the process and perception of the change.
- Team Leader: You may have some control over the change, and you have control over the perception of the change.
- Team Member: You have little control over the change, but you have control over your morale in relation to the change.
The Decision Maker is responsible for making the decision to change, determining the purpose of the change, and developing the goal and plan for change. Many Decision Makers are high level personnel in the organization (whether a family, a company, or a team). The Decision Maker may be willing to hear input at a designated time and place, or depending on the change being implemented there may not be room for dissent in the decision to change.
The Team Leader is responsible to define the change and communicate it to the team. In this role, the Team Leader needs to listen carefully to the concerns of the team. They should be forward-thinking in the management of change, managing expectations and concerns. As goes the leader, so goes the team.
Finally, the Team Member has little influence over the change but big influence on day-to-day morale. Team Members may want to feel some control, and may want some ownership. If a Team Member chooses not to be engaged in a positive way, their attitude and actions can have a negative effect on themselves and those around them.
Once you’ve identified your role, what can you do?
As a Decision Maker, you can share the reasons for the change as well as the process that went into making the decision to change. When possible, listen to concerns and input prior to making the decision.
As a Team Leader be sure to pass information along efficiently and effectively. Be available to talk through the changes addressing questions and concerns. When you don’t know an answer, be honest with your team and be sure to address the question. Remember, it’s about working toward the same positive outcome together.
As a Team Member, pause before reacting, breathe, and know that change happens and you will get through it. Ask questions, share suggestions, but know that at the end of the day the change is definitely happening, and the sooner you can wrap your head around it the sooner you can move forward. Your attitude will spread, whether positive or negative, so decide to choose your attitude.
Finally, no matter which role you’re playing, remember to ask the question I mentioned in the last post: “What does this change make possible?”
Photo by Jonatan Lewczuk on Unsplash