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Leading a Team Through Change

Transition times can be trying for any business. However, the more you wish to innovate and progress with the times, the greater the need to be able to skilfully guide your people through the difficulties that can come with change.

Ensuring that any developments align with your overall and individual goals, both short term and long term, is also essential to consider when implementing any changes across your organisation.

Here are our tips and guidance to help you as a leader positively transition through change, and lead your team to bigger and better things:

  1. Everyone reacts to change differently. Make allowances for differences and questions

Depending on the type of personalities in your office, some of your team may take the intended changes very differently to others. While it is not your goal to change your employees, you need to be aware of how different team members will project their reservations upon others.

Remember, your team are not mind readers! Introduce the change to the group and give them the opportunity to ask questions in a comfortable and secure environment. Give them every opportunity to become comfortable with the intended changes in their own way.

  1. Invite feedback

Don’t jump into making changes immediately after announcing the new direction. Launching immediately into action without gathering feedback will make your team feel more isolated from the changes happening around them. Instead, once you have announced the intention for a change of direction, invite your management team and informal leaders to work with smaller focus groups to determine where improvements can be best made, and how. Allow others to assist you to determine the next steps forward across a range of departments. You will be guaranteed to learn something, and you will be a better leader through the change for it.

  1. Identify your change masters

After the change has been introduced and workshopped, you will be able to better identify who on your team will be your advocates or ‘change masters’. These are people on your team who will back your vision 100% and will do everything to try and implement it. They are normally followed and respected by their peers, and will assist in warming others to your lead. By letting these change masters to share the big visions you have for the future, you are creating more informed advocates who will continue to push developments along in a steady way.

  1. Determine who is on board, then drive

At some point after the feedback and rallying stages, there is a moment when it will be time to kick the changes into gear. Disruption, if needed, for the good of the project and the company will be seen and embraced for the step forward it is, if handled in a way that involves group dynamics, feedback and recognition of personal impact. Know that others will come on board with the changes that are needed, and there will be no dramatic showdown or mass uproar.