Change is hard, but effective leaders know how to handle it because they can adjust to new circumstances. When things are ambiguous, they remain comfortable; when in a crisis, they seek solutions.
It’s often been said that the only constant is change. The trick is to keep a clear head, manage expectations, and embrace change.
Five Critical Management Derailer Symptoms and Remedies
Learn how managers can adjust to new circumstances.
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Symptoms of a leader who is resistant to change
- Expresses frustration at the suggestion of change
- Attitude and behavior signal skepticism
- Attitude doesn’t change even when his concerns have been addressed
- Preoccupied with reminiscing about “what was” versus “what will be”
- Continues to do things the same old way yet expects new results
- Uncomfortable with ambiguity and isn’t open to discovering better ways
- Team members complain about mixed messages from leadership and their manager
Three ways to help a leader embrace change
- Understand the manager's appetite for change
Help the manager understand his natural aversion to change
- People are “wired” differently, and this influences our appetite for risk and challenge. Some find change exciting and embrace it, while others find it threatening and reject it. A balance of both is healthy for an organization. Knowing how someone will respond to change helps you tailor your communication and get them on board.
Ensure that the manager is focused on the new priorities
- If a manager has a natural tendency to resist change, then it is important to make him aware of this tendency. This will enable him to develop his own way of helping himself adapt to change. When possible, have him think through the process for you so that you can demonstrate how the change will benefit both the organization and the individual.
- There are many ways to communicate change, but words are not enough. You need to translate this change into meaningful actions and goals for the manager, and then you need to inspect what you expect. Ask the manager and her people what they believe the manager’s priorities are, especially after a change event. This reveals disconnects and opportunities for realignment.