22 Mar 9 Things a Leader Can Do That Will Inspire People to WANT to Change
Change is constant, it’s the new reality and there are things that leaders can do to ‘get everyone on the bus’. There are many change management processes but they are completely ineffective if leaders are not taking a ‘change leadership’ approach which is to inspire people on the team to want to change.
You can’t ‘make’ people change – you can inspire the desire to want to be and do things differently. Here’s how:
- Communicate the company vision and your vision as a leader in multiple ways such as visually with posters, or screen savers as well as inside the Intranet or by sending emails and texts of reminders of where you are headed and why. Constant visual reminders of the ‘why’ of the changes helps to keep the positive energy of the changes front and center.
- Communicate the compelling benefits of change – explain the ‘why’ of change and how it relates to each person on the team. Give examples of how things were done before and the benefits of doing things in a new way. Connect to the personality and the generation of the person you are talking to and adapt your approach to their unique individuality.
- Meet with your team members one on one regularly face to face and if you have remote teams ensure you are consistently meeting through Skype or other video technology to do the one on one to check in and ask each person how they feel about the upcoming changes. When changes are being implemented often times the leaders are so entrenched in the tasks of a change that they forget or ignore the most important aspect of driving change which is engaging the teams during the process.
- Use a coach approach with your team members by guiding them to see how he or she fits within the overall changes – remind them of his or her value and how his or her skills are needed to drive change forward. Ask questions as to how he or she sees the changes affecting him or her and then provide guidance on how he or she can maximize the benefits of the change.
- Be the model of inspiration – its one thing to be a great leader and it’s a big leap to be a master change leader. Inspiration is lighting the fire for others to be the best they can be and has far more impact than trying to motivate which is short lived. When your team sees you consistently modeling the behaviors of leading change they will want to follow your example.
- Build a culture of trust by allowing everyone to voice his or her fears or concerns around the changes being made and create safety around conflict. Conflict is a natural part of change and a necessary part as it helps to identify priorities and often leads to innovation. When your team sees that it is safe to be open and to share ideas and to even make mistakes it makes them eager to move ahead with changes.
- Establish a way for everyone to provide input and creative solutions about ways to improve the processes or routes to change. At your regular meetings build in about five minutes for the team to do a creative exercise together such as finding things in common between a dog and blow dryer. A creative environment always adds more energy to the team and builds camaraderie.
- Be consistent – do all of the above things on a repetitive basis – every month if possible and at the very least every quarter. Many leaders have the intention to stay on top of the important people aspects of change and then the initial excitement peters out and demotivates the team.
- Provide the training and resources to help your teams be successful. When your team knows that the senior leadership has the” backs” of the team members and that there is support in the form of training, coaching and resources there is an increased sense of trusting that the constant changes are the new norm and that there is safety in making a change.
Inspiring people to want to come along with change is a future of work skill set that all leaders must develop in this fast paced and technological workplace reality. Our Evolutionary Leaders Network online training portal is for leaders and aspiring leaders who understand that evolutionary leadership training programs are needed now!