3 Ways A Leader Can Make Change Less Painful
No one seems truly happy with their jobs and/or leaders . . . until change is introduced. Then leaders can walk on water and companies are so perfect no change is necessary.
For years I’ve observed this phenomena and watched the fear and pain experienced by those who are anticipating change. Great change warriors understand what they can do to lessen the pain of a new system, or new leader, or new owner.
Here are three things leaders can do to make change a little less painful:
- Cut out the “happy story” and sell, but sell soberly. If change is going to be tough, leaders should tell their team that it’s going to be tough. They should promise problems. To make change effective people have to trust the message and the messenger.
- Communicate the why and the how as well as the what. Leaders often think more information will influence people. It won’t. They need to know why their doing it, and how they need to proceed. Leaders should break information into incremental, doable steps.
- Introduce change as a journey rather than an “end.” Odds are something is going to morph before it’s all done. Good leaders know to create a goal-line out of updates that are honest and reflect the hard work of every employee.
Great change warriors will make sure the word “change” is not applied to any and every initiative, and will be sure they address the hearts of employees by caring enough to tell them what, why and how when real change is needed. Then they will recognize small wins and acknowledge failures without blame or judgment.
Most importantly, change warriors will communicate the progress and stay with the initiative until the necessary change has been realized. Otherwise it’s like a football coach leaving after the kick-off , assuming the game will be played without further involvement.
Change is painful, and it requires a leader’s care.