Skip to main content

Things I Said Yesterday: Leading Change Edition

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to leaders at Holland & Hart LLP on a favorite topic: Leading Yourself and Your Team Through Change.

With the work of William Bridges as a backdrop (I wonder if Amazon sees a bump in sales of his book every time I speak on this topic), I shared key concepts and strategies for navigating changes in work and life.

I always include these key messages:

  • Change is an event, a moment in time. Transition is the ongoing psychological reorientation we go through as we acclimate to the new reality.
  • It’s the transition, not the change, that we often resist. Because transitions–even positive ones–come with losses.
  • Losses, real or perceived, are real to the people feeling them. The worst thing we can do is ignore them. Acknowledge endings and losses to help people move forward.
  • In business we tend to think “loss,” as in the emotion of loss, is a 4-letter word. So we avoid talking about it. It doesn’t make the feeling of loss go away.
  • By naming the emotion, you’re taking away its power to control you, and giving yourself back the power to manage your reaction.

  • Your number one job as a leader during times of change is to manage productivity, and you do that by helping lead your team through the transitions of change.
  • Often you’ll find that employees simply want to feel heard.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. When you’re tired of talking about something, that’s when you need to start talking about it more. Because that’s when people are finally listening.
  • Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be human. The change is affecting you too.
  • Don’t communicate an expectation that they just suck it up and get with the program.
  • At the same time, each person needs to get to the other side of their change transition. If they won’t, despite your support, you need to have a different conversation.
  • Communicating about change is a marathon. The leaders who know about it first are at the start line, the elite runners. You’ll have employees back in the 10-minute mile corral. You may cross the finish line before they even start. Your job is to go back, meet them where they’re at, and pace them.
  • Resisting transitions is human nature. It’s not good or bad, it just is. Let’s normalize talking about it, so we can help our teams through it.
  • You have to lead yourself through change before you can lead others. Start with yourself.

I always love chatting with attendees after to hear how these ideas resonated, and this group was no exception. Thank you Holland & Hart for hosting me, and I look forward to seeing you all in August to talk about emotional intelligence and authentic leadership!

Which one of these key messages catches your attention?

Looking to increase the cohesion, trust, and impact of your leadership team? Reach out and let’s discuss The Compass Team Experience and how I can help.

Follow me on LinkedIn!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.