The Reality of Change: Leaders Need to Listen
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
When we present a Change Programme, we paint the future, outline our objectives and goals, and what we believe it will take to get there. In reality, at the very most we provide a glimpse of what the future will look like to an individual. From the moment a change is announced people will start to paint their own view of the future.
As you travel down the pathway of change everyone will individually and as teams have to deal with numerous challenges. These challenges can cloud a person’s or group’s vision of the future. Without a well executed change and communication plan these clouds can slow down an organization’s progress.
We all react differently to change. You may see yourself in the picture below when you reflect back on significant changes in your life.
Let's assume an announcement for change has been made, you may begin to see these different types of reactive behaviors:
(1) Small groups may form to discuss what this all means and will come to their own conclusions that quickly become their reality for a time. You will see people quickly form a vision that does not match the one you tried to paint. For example: They might say – they never said anything about redundancy so that means they are not going to pay out any. All sorts of rumours and talk, some good and some not so good will result.
(2) Some people will find themselves running around in circles. They don’t know what to think and flip from one train of thought to another. Productivity drops.
(3) Other people will immediately think, ok let’s go, if this is what is going to happen, let’s get on with it. You find that some of these people will suddenly stop in their tracks and convert to other behaviours.
(4) There will be people who will form an early opinion and decide that the future painted is not for them. They will be the ones that say, I’m out of here. This group often way up the stress the change will have on them vs. any financial reward and will decide its not for them.
(5) Others will make their way through the change but when a hurdle has to be jumped or a challenge worked through, they feel they can’t do it and will decide to wait for someone to take them through the difficult patches. They might normally have done this themselves but now can’t.
(6) There are always the people who will take everything in and will take the ‘wait and see’ approach. They won’t commit. They are the fence sitters.
As people react to change, leadership becomes paramount. The power to listen to your people through these times is critical to your success.
If you want to learn more about how you can develop your listening skills to enhance your Change Programme or if you want to talk to someone further about change management then contact Tracy from the 5L Team and she will set up a phone call or time with one of our team. You can call Tracy on 0273003538 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org