Thriving through Change

It is fairly obvious that companies that manage change well will continue to grow and thrive, those that don’t become stagnant and fail.

But what is not so obvious is the difference that makes the difference when leading through change. In our experience the difference that makes the difference when leading change depends on the levels of self awareness and maturity of the leadership in the organisation.

The truth is change is scary. Change evokes fear and when fear is evoked we become ‘needy.’ Specifically, our psychological need for Certainty, Connection and Credibility is heightened.

We have found that the following three steps are critical when leading through change because these steps meet our three psychological needs head on.

  1. To meet the need for certainty it is critically important to limit the fear. It is the responsibility of leaders to help the team understand that the change is a positive necessity and ensure that everyone understands why the change is happening. If everyone is sure why the change is happening this can help in protecting the team from external and internal threats and in maintaining a confident attitude.
  1. To meet the need for connection it is critical to provide informal ways that the team can connect with each other through change. Change can often result in people ‘keeping their head down’ and hiding from what is happening around them. The underlying fear can create an atmosphere that leads them to become quiet and uncommunicative. If left unchecked this can result in a toxic culture in which things do not get done.
  1. To meet the need for credibility the most important responsibility of a leader is to have clarity around everyone’s part to play in the process and to make people feel a hero in the journey. This seems obvious but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes leaders think they are ensuring people feel valued, but this can sometimes be more of an assumption than reality. Consistent praise and affirmation is critical to ensure that all team members know the plan and more importantly that they sense their role is critical for contributing to the overall success.

At the core of leading change is the necessity for leaders to stay visible and available and making their primary role that of communicating and connecting with those around them.

‘Courage to Change’ 1 Day Programme:

Chester: 9th May | Cardiff: 10th May

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