Leading Through Change

“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.”

~ King Whitney Jr.

Leading Through Change

By Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

The world, our nation, our workplace and our lives are constantly confronted by change.  Change is often a scary prospect.  It means breaking out of one’s comfort zone and experiencing the unknown. And while progress does not occur without change, the anxiety that comes with it is real and cannot be overlooked. During these times, as a leader, it is vitally important that your focus remain upon those you are leading. In times of change you should always:

  • Acknowledge Anxiety. During times of uncertainty it is of the upmost importance that people’s feelings are acknowledged and addressed.  If ignored, these feelings become the pink elephant in the room – silently occupying everyone’s attention – to the detriment of all other pressing matters.  When dealt with directly and compassionately, anxious individuals get the message that their feelings are important and that you are looking out for their best-interests.  With their anxiety assuaged, they can focus more clearly on the specific task-at-hand.
  • Dispense Information Promptly. As soon as you have a piece of information that you know to be important to those who you lead, it must be disseminated to the group. A failure to do so will only result in heightened anxiety and a lack of trust in your leadership.
  • Be a Transparent Decision-Maker. During times of change you will be called upon to make many important decisions.  Whenever a decision affects those who you lead you should educate them on how the decision was made.  Even if some individuals question your reasoning, at least they will understand the time and effort you put into making the decision and the thought process you utilized.

Opportunities for great leadership are abundant during times of change.  By placing your focus during these times upon the needs of others, you will ensure that you are able to effectively lead through change.

This article was provided courtesy of Lead Star – a premiere leadership development firm. You can learn more about leadership by visiting their website at www.leadstar.us.

Coaching Call To Action

This week keep in mind that people have varying ways of dealing with change, many are not positive.  If your company is in the midst of making changes, take action to help others more easily move along this path with you.