Change leaders sometimes forget that a change they’ve processed and made peace with is a new idea for the people they are sharing it with. We’ve had to remind leaders that when their team doesn’t immediately embrace a change, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the change (or with the leader.)
When you are introducing a change here are some tips to remember:
- Resistance is a normal, natural response. As Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Be prepared for pushback and realize that it’s not about you.
- Give people time. When leaders introduce change, they’ve usually had plenty of time to wrestle with information, look at options and make a decision. In other words, they’ve processed the change and they are ready to move forward. While you may not be able to give your team the same amount of time, make sure you give them enough time to process the change, ask questions and make sense of it for themselves.
- Respect. Show people that you respect and care for them by listening. Communication goes beyond telling people something. It’s always amazing to us when leaders get feedback that they need to “improve communication” and they promptly increase the number of emails they send or town halls they conduct. Communication is TWO way. You share and you listen in order to truly communicate.
- Find Nuggets. As you listen and process the feedback from people, pay attention to ideas or insights that improve upon the change. There may be things that others see which makes the change better or at least makes the change better received!
Just because you tell someone about a change doesn’t mean they fully understand or accept it…and that’s okay. It takes time to make sense out of change.
So when you are introducing a change make sure you are prepared for resistance, give people time, respect others by listening and find nuggets of wisdom to use to improve.