Our world is rapidly changing and often we are swept along by many different priorities and demands coming from all angles. Sometimes we are immobilized because we are overwhelmed by many waves of change. Sometimes we are reluctant to change because we recognise that upcoming changes might mean that whatever we do today might not be relevant in tomorrow’s world. This can happen at a personal level or at an organizational level and, in itself, creates an opportunity to consider how we can navigate through change effectively.
One of the ways I have seen leaders prepare teams for change, and keep them motivated through change, is to focus on personal and team strengths. Focusing on your strengths is energizing. You identify what gives you energy and apply those strengths to your work everyday. As a team, you recognize the strengths of others and harness complementary strengths. As an individual you can find work that matches your strengths. This is particularly important if your role will change in the future, as when you are clear about what you love to do, adapting to or finding your future role becomes easier. Navigating through change by using your strengths will also be a more positive experience. You will feel more in control.
Practical tips to lead a team through change:
- Acknowledge that change is happening. Share experiences of how as a group you have managed changes before.
- Identify what strengths you used when change was happening previously. What were the behaviours you adopted and how did that contribute to your experiences of change.
- Commit to using your strengths. Name the behaviours you will demonstrate in the change you are currently navigating or during an impending change.
- Create a visible reminder. Put mechanisms in place to remind yourself of your commitments, and to recognise when you are being effective.
If you take these actions as a group, you will realise that you are not alone in what you are experiencing and you have the support of your team. The environment that you are working in will be more positive and productive. As an individual you will be better prepared to navigate through the change and to describe to others in the future how you can effectively respond in times of uncertainty.
- John Ryan for his willingness to engage his team in tough time and for reviewing this article.
- Lynn Cunningham for her creativity and for implementing flawlessly and for reviewing this article.