The Lead Yourself First Blog

Resilient Leadership: How To Rise Above, Resolve And Respond To Adversity

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit….Bern Williams

As the end of the year nears, we often tend to reflect on what has happened in our lives over the past twelve months. Looking back, we may be surprised by the challenges we’ve overcome, and the way we dealt with hardship, when in fact, our capacity for resiliency shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Continue reading “Resilient Leadership: How To Rise Above, Resolve And Respond To Adversity”

Resentment, Resistance, Rejection: Demystifying the Fear of Change

Nothing changes if nothing changes. The only constant is change. All great changes were preceded by chaos…Wise and witty sayings on the subject of change that have become popularized and shared through the ages. Yet, many of us continue to baulk at any organizational change initiatives, despite the evidence presented by leaders who tell us that if we don’t move forward and break from the past, we risk becoming irrelevant. Continue reading “Resentment, Resistance, Rejection: Demystifying the Fear of Change”

The fear of success is bigger than the fear of failure

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough – Og Mandino

“My goodness! What would it be like if I had the life I always wanted! How would I cope if everything I desired to achieve actually came true! Wouldn’t that be terrible?” This kind of self-talk is an example of someone who possesses a “fear of success.” Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? While “fear of failure” is an all-too-familiar term in modern-day ethos, we don’t often hear about the “fear of success.” At first glance, these phrases look different, but, in fact, they have similar interpretation. It is not unusual for people to be afraid of success because of the connotations attached to the word. The idea of success can elicit an equal, if not greater “fear” response as failure. Furthermore, many people cannot “cope” with success and, as a result, they unconsciously sabotage it. How does this happen? It is important to understand the ramifications of such thinking, as well as the rationale (or should I say the “irrational”) behind it.

Allowing your inner critic to surface on occasion in human. However, if it becomes a way of life and you continue to move in a downward spiral, your journey to success will become even more daunting. By interpreting setbacks as a sign of the universe conspiring against you, the potential risk of sabotaging your own success increases as negative thoughts intensify. Many of us maintain a personal belief system that keeps working against us, without understanding its origins.

The fear of success is based on three factors:

1. Regard we have for ourselves (self-concept)

Fear and Courage

A individual’s belief system cultivates either a positive or negative self-concept. Based on the internal lens we use to view ourselves, we attribute meaning to the terms “success” and “failure.” Self-concept goes beyond being placed under the “self-esteem” umbrella. Psychologist Albert Bandura says: “Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the sources of action required to manage prospective situations.” In other words, if you believe in your capabilities to manage and overcome whatever life throws at you, you will find success in your life . . . however you choose to define “success”.

2. Lack of clarification in relation to success values

Just as the word “money” is laden with values attachments, the same can be said about the word “success.”  It is essential to achieve clarity around your personal, uniquely individual definition of success in order to actually live it. There are widely held assumptions in our society that success and wealth are synonymous, almost interchangeable terms. It is at the core of many a values struggle! However, not everyone measures “success” and “wealth” in financial terms. Once we achieve clarity regarding what success actually means on a deeply personal level, the experience is invigorating.

3. The Impact of Conditioning

We are conditioned to think of ourselves, our values, and other people in terms of either/or. By polarizing our thoughts into society’s concept of good or bad, right or wrong, etc., it becomes difficult to discern our own unique value proposition regarding work, career, family, money, success, politics, institutions, etc. A powerful set of influencers have shaped our ideas throughout our lives, either subtly or otherwise. Examples of these influencers include our family of origin, culture, education system, religious credo, media, etc. When we are able to identify those influencers and in turn, recognize their impact, we can see our own version of the truth through a fresh set of eyes.

Now is as good a time as any to examine what you think about yourself, to look through that internal lens and focus on how you manage your life in the world. Change any self-perceptions that are fueling a fear of success.  Equipped with a healthy self-concept and clarity regarding your values, you will find success in your career, your business, and your life.

About the Author: Michelle Ray is the CEO & Founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute

Leadership Values – Crisis or Opportunity

“The ideal leader is the servant of all – able to display a disarming humility, without the loss of authority”

…Col. Sir Edward (Weary) Dunlop, Australian Hero, Leader Extraordinaire

Not a day passes without a reference to a leader’s fall from grace somewhere on the planet.  News regarding the behaviours of a political despot, government official or corporate executive’s transgressions spark continued outrage from a world that seems to relish sensationalism, no matter how ugly or scandalous. Headlines laden with allegations of misdemeanours that include misappropriated use of company or government expense accounts, fraudulent spending of tax payer funds, drug addiction, marital affairs, lies and corruption of some form or another continue to demand our attention. When confronted with their assortment of character flaws, denial of the truth by these leaders seems to be the easier option.

The frequency of prominent public figures coming under scrutiny is nothing new.  The underlying concern is the spectacle that such leaders generate as a result of their questionable activities, as well as society’s reaction.  Their examples should serve notice for us all to examine our own values, as we are indeed the leaders of our own lives. We look to our leaders for inspiration and become profoundly disappointed. Nonetheless, we seem to thrive on the drama of it all. By doing so, are we not condoning their behaviour? The display of deceit by those that we uphold as role models as they dance around the truth defies logic, yet it has become the norm. Therein lies the premise of this article: We are experiencing nothing short of a values crisis. When we witness bad behaviour on the part of our leaders, do we choose to partake in the entertainment factor, or do such examples cause us to reflect on our own standards?

Several months ago when the news broke regarding the “groping” incident that allegedly took place between the embattled Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, and former Mayoral candidate Susan Thompson, I was in the studios of a that city’s local news-talk radio station for a prime-time interview, planning to discuss my recently-released book. Instead, the interview took a different tack as I was asked to comment on the unfolding political uproar. The allegations were the story of the hour, the day, the week.  I chose to focus on the values question rather than engaging in political posturing. If the allegations about the mayor were true, then it was an example of outrageous behaviour on his part. If the accuser was fabricating the story, then it was an example of extreme opportunism at its worst. Both parties had the opportunity to show exemplary leadership. Unfortunately, the “he said/she said” guessing game continued, with the outcome left hanging in the court of public opinion. As I write this piece, the same mayor in question is ensconced in yet another leadership crisis.

Stories of leaders who allegedly conceal the truth continue to receive top billing in the media.  In Canada, the expense activities of Senator Duffy, (and subsequent payment by the Prime Minister’s former Chief of Staff, Mr. Nigel Wright, of the $90,000 owed by Duffy) together with Prime Minister Harper’s management of the issue have made the news for weeks. In the U.S, IRS official Faris Fink admitted only days ago to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the lavish spending of over $4 million on a training conference several years ago in Anaheim (including his starring role as Mr. Spock in a Star Wars spoof) “was not the best use of taxpayers dollars.” The organization has also been in the spotlight with the credibility of President Obama’s response to the Tea-Party claims of bias regarding I.R.S purportedly singling out a number of Republican groups applying for not-for-profit status for extra scrutiny continues to make headlines.  In addition, his administration’s reaction to documentation indicating a cover-up regarding the deaths of U.S. officials at the embassy in Benghazi, Libya, is being reported on almost daily.

In an excellent article: “On the Nature of Scandals” published by the National Post late last month, the author, Professor Jack Mintz, wrote:  “What matters most is accountability to establish trust. Those who make wrong decisions must pay the price for their wrongdoing. It applies to companies and individuals who fail to make the grade. The same for politicians and public officials – they must be reprimanded as well.” While I wholeheartedly concur with Professor Mintz’s conclusions, holding leaders and others accountable when a violation of trust occurs is just one part of the solution. When the leaders themselves can practice personal leadership by admitting and accepting their own values dilemma in order to acknowledge their own truth, they will be better positioned to regain trust and respect. When individuals decide that their time has come to accept personal responsibility; whether or not they possess the title of “leader”, we in turn become a more values -based society. Professing values and living by them are two very distinct propositions.  Keep in mind these essential principles in order to turn a values crisis into an opportunity:

Humility is not humiliation

My father was one of my greatest examples of living by this principle. When my mother was diagnosed with dementia, my father became her primary caregiver. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated to such an extent that he was no longer able to provide the level of care that she needed. My father was always a proud man, yet he knew that by adopting a posture of humility, he was able to achieve what was best for my mother. By revealing his vulnerability in order to receive help, he demonstrated his depth of character and commitment to do the most important thing. Humility should not be confused with humiliation. Rather, it is an attractive human characteristic that demonstrates a level of transparency; something that is often missing in politics or business dynamics. All too often, leaders opt to build a wall around themselves in order to “stay strong” when their integrity comes into question. The greatest strength can be found by accepting what is, becoming more transparent and revealing one’s humanness.

The attractiveness of authenticity

Some human qualities that are often perceived as weak are actually the opposite. For example, revealing a challenging aspect of your life when you experience a personal struggle can create a unique bond with another individual who has dealt, or is dealing with something similar. When I disclosed the story about my mother’s illness and my father’s response to a group of leaders in the Oil and Gas Industry, the senior VP approached me at the conclusion of my presentation and began to cry. He had just gone through the same experience; placing his mother in a care facility. By telling my own story, he felt a deeper connection to the educational message and content, because it was a story he immediately related to in his own life.

 Lead with your values

In order to eliminate any ambiguity regarding values that are important to you, you need a strong sense of self. One explanation for the current values “crisis” is that many of us are “others values-based”; attached to societal, individual or cultural values that do not resonate at our core. Eventually, this internal struggle of trying to align your own values with another set of divergent values may cause you such distress that you either have to speak up or move on. On the other hand, when you are leading yourself first, the process of discerning whether or not you are operating from another person’s values instead of your own becomes far less complicated, liberating and enlightening.

 Based in Vancouver, Michelle Ray is a leadership expert and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute. She is the author of the newly-released book: “Lead Yourself First! Breakthrough Strategies to Life the Life You Want.”

(Red Carpet Publications)

Leadership isn’t a job- it’s a state of mind

Leadership Isn’t A Job, It’s A State Of Mind

The Globe and Mail speaks to leadership expert, Michelle Ray,  about her new book, Lead Yourself First:

Have you ever used a word so often that it has lost all meaning? Leadership has turned into one of those words for me. Even asking, “What does leadership mean to you?” sounds like a pompous question thrown into an awkward team-building session. A quick poke around the Internet would lead most to believe that leadership remains inextricably tied to the likes of Steve Jobs or Sheryl Sandberg. Women and men both have it, so it seems, but it manifests differently.

So I’ve decided to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch to re-examine this elusive word that remains a constant in business jargon. The first hint of insight came from a candid book called Lead Yourself First, by Vancouver-based leadership expert Michelle Ray. Leadership is a mindset, not a title, according to Ms. Ray. It has everything to do with values and little to do with corporate climbing.

Despite the book’s cover image of a business woman donning boxing gloves (which led me to believe this would be yet another management book telling women to fight their way to the top), Ms. Ray preaches introspection. She shares her war stories about turning into a corporate slave, dealing with charismatic managers who fall short on their promises, and being subjected to a screaming boss that followed her inside the washroom to continue yelling, while she cowered in a stall. I simultaneously laughed and cringed.

But what do these tales from the trenches have to do with leadership? If you argue that leadership is a way of thinking, rather than a job description, the word begins to take shape. “My premise is for everyone to view leadership as a state of mind rather than a job title. Especially in these times, it’s incumbent of all of us to see ourselves as leaders of our lives,” Ms. Ray suggested. Leadership means knowing your own values and being able to translate that into a vision for yourself and others. Think of it as navigating a ship: There could be a hundred people on board or you might be alone but the main task is the same – how do you chart its course and keep it from sinking?

Rather than glean inspiration from the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Ray draws examples from more relatable people, such as Stan, a security guard at the Regina airport. Stan shared his story about losing his son to suicide, then his job and marriage. Despite this, he set a course to pull his life together, perform well at his role and have a positive impact on those around him. He demonstrated strong personal leadership skills by recognizing the importance of character, but he wasn’t a traditional leader. “A leader is someone who is clear about their values and applies them on a regular basis. In other words, having values and living by one’s values are two distinctive propositions,” said Ms. Ray, adding that leadership doesn’t have to be about moving up the management ladder, or even being in the workplace.

The idea that leadership connotes a characteristic rather than a skill seems to resonate. I asked Carrie Kirkman, president of Ontario-based apparel maker Jones Group Canada, to describe the essence of her leadership, which she distilled to one word: courage. “I’ve never been fearful in any job that I’ve had. If I believe something, I am like a dog with a bone,” Ms. Kirkman said. She recalls a point in a previous role, as the general merchandise manager of the women’s apparel business at HBC. When the company was sold in 2008, she believed the move gave the company a window of opportunity to signal a change to the marketplace and demonstrate how the company could evolve. Some of the company’s leadership was skeptical but Ms. Kirkman stood her ground, believing that the ability to have independent thought and vision within a large corporation made her stand out from the crowd.

That gift of influence is a key component of leadership, according to Cindy Novak, president of Toronto-based Communication Leadership Network, which provides training to build leaders and their teams. “Managers direct or tell people what needs to be done while leaders achieve outcomes by influencing others to work to achieve a common goal,” said Ms. Novak, who believes leaders accomplish this through a combination of strong communication skills and the ability to effectively relate to others. “The bottom line is that leadership requires a different set of competencies than being a great manager,” she said. Settling on the definition of leadership is a tough riddle to crack. What is missing, Ms. Ray said, is the idea of taking charge of yourself. “A title on a business card or a placard on a desk or door does not automatically make someone a leader,” she said. “It may give the impression of self-importance and achievement, however, the title alone is not enough.”

By Leah Eichler/The Globe and Mail/May 3, 2013

Taking the lead with your multigenerational workplace

Taking the lead with your multigenerational workplace…Alberta’s Best Workplaces

Categorizing, generalizing and stereotyping are the most common reactions to working within a diverse, multigenerational environment. In many organizations, there is rarely a day that goes by without co-workers and managers hearing a disparaging comment about the values and attitudes of different generations, despite the fact that companies are investing heavily in educating leaders and teams at every level to develop collaborative relationships. The enlightened ones recognize that their future depends on creating an atmosphere where everyone, regardless of age or background, feels motivated to stay, contribute and enjoy their workplace.

As part of my preparation for my keynote presentation at the 5th annual “Best Places To Work in Alberta” event, held by my client, Alberta Venture, I interviewed several companies that are doing things right when it comes to leading the generations.  Many companies throughout the province participated in a rigorous application process to be judged in twelve different categories of excellence including: “Best workplace for health & safety”, “best workplace for diversity”, “best workplace for training and development”, “best workplace for perks and incentives”, best workplace for benefits”, “best workplace for working parents”, “best workplace for the millennial generation” and best workplace for volunteerism & community involvement”, just to name a few!

The common denominator in terms of the success of these companies can be summed up in one word: Flexibility. For example, these leaders understand that they cannot adopt a cookie-cutter approach to benefits and recognition programs. They have embraced a retention philosophy that minimizes turnover by offering individual employees personalized remuneration and health benefits packages. When it comes to adopting personalized incentive programs, whether they take the form of tangible benefits or work-from-home arrangements, one finalist described their leadership approach this way: “No is not our first answer”.

One VP in the financial service sector explained that employees can choose how to allocate some of their benefits by taking out gym memberships, purchasing sporting equipment, or claiming a significant portion of their benefits for massage or chiropractic services, while maintaining basic coverage for dental and prescription medication. This applies to more than 1,000 staff. The payoff? Higher levels of engagement, customer service and job satisfaction.

Their benefits also extend to their own products. For example, all employees receive a deposit bonus into their savings accounts at 1.5% above posted rates. Spouses receive the same benefits even if they aren’t working for the company.  In addition, staff can secure mortgages at a preferred rate; realizing significant savings over the long term. Financial benefits also apply to retirement savings, matching RRSP contributions as well as a formal dinner upon retirement with $1,000 cash recognition for service to the organization.

Another leader of a large engineering software company stated that flexible work schedules have resulted in increased productivity because employees know that they are trusted. Their firm takes work-life balance seriously and recognizes the priorities associated with family responsibilities. Their culture and solid client relationships are a reflection of putting these values into action. This year their company is vying for the best workplace in the “working parents” category. With over 60% of employees under the age of 40, they know that their business model can allow for staff to work from home, telecommute or take extended leave of absence during the quieter, summer months. Most importantly, the founders of the business believe in putting values into action. Therefore, all employees appreciate the fact that a company that accommodates personal demands outside of the workplace rewards their professional attitude and hard work.

In the category of “best workplace for the millennial generation”, competition was fierce.  These companies recognize that ongoing labour shortages as a result of on-going baby boomer retirements means that they need to keep their pipeline filled with younger employees and future leaders.

Encouraging innovation and educational learning experiences is an integral part of the philosophy of the award contenders in this category. They are consistently ahead of the game when it comes to maintaining a presence at recruitment fairs; building relationships with pre and post secondary educational institutions, encouraging the use of social media in the workplace (as well as for recruitment purposes) rewarding employees with a finder’s fee regarding peer hiring, frequent off-site brainstorming retreats to build teamwork and foster creativity, “bring your parents to work days”…the list is endless.

To effectively take the lead with your multigenerational workplace, the finalists are succeeding primarily due to the fact that their leadership; from the owners to the executive level, are supportive of every initiative. They realize that in order to maintain talent and build their future leaders, creating and sustaining the type of workplace atmosphere where people can simultaneously excel, learn and have fun means walking the talk. There is no doubt that the new generation of employees will consistently seek out workplaces of choice. When your organization stands out from the crowd with a “best place to work” designation, it makes the entire recruitment, engagement and retention that much easier.

“Money doesn’t talk…It swears”

“Money doesn’t talk…It swears” – Bob Dylan

In my upcoming book, “Lead Yourself First”, I dedicate several chapters to the subject of values. Values drive our behaviour and decisions, as well as our professional and personal relationships. Making values – based decisions in business and life aren’t always easy, even when we feel that we know ourselves well. One of the most difficult areas pertains to money and finances, especially if we find ourselves at the crossroads regarding career change or making an investment in a new business venture. Although there are some simple truths such as having your finances in order prior to taking such bold steps, conversations around money are often emotionally- charged due to the fact that our values also come into play.  Therefore, the subject isn’t merely about numbers, being practical or even logical.  Going through the process of ascertaining what lies behind the rationale to leave a job or stay, to invest or not to invest; to save or spend is an important exercise because we discover more about what is actually influencing such choices. In addition, the manner in which we justify our course of action is also a reflection of our principles.

The financial values dilemma is not only felt at an individual level. It happens in corporations on a daily basis. If you listen closely, you will hear people frequently professing values-laden statements regarding their workplace or direction of their organization. It isn’t unusual for leaders to experience conflict in this arena, especially during these times of uncertainty. While working with one client recently, one member of the senior leadership team was frustrated due to the push-back he was experiencing from his colleagues. He wished to maintain the status quo in terms of staff retention…in contrast to a number of his peers who he felt were reacting by taking an ultra cautious approach; entertaining cutbacks and terminations. Critical business decisions such as these may appear to be based on fiscal evidence. However, the values of a core leadership team are often driving the process.

Is it possible to be completely objective regarding where one may stand on financial values, or indeed our entire values system?  The challenge lies in the fact that we have all been influenced in varying degrees by the standards of others, be they family members, peers, associates, coaches or well-intended friends. Therefore, the sample inventory exercise below will reveal the extent to which you have allowed yourself  to be governed by accepted morals or ethics that perhaps hinder your professional and personal direction. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Rather, your responses reflect your current position and beliefs and illuminate information regarding your financial values that my surprise you. 

Values inventory clarification – Money

  1. What does financial freedom represent to you?
  2.  Do you subscribe to a scarcity or abundance mentality?
  3.  Were you taught to manage your money at an early age?
  4. When you think of the term “financially responsible”, how would you define it?
  5. What were some of the prevailing attitudes around money in your family?
  6. How has the recent economic volatility impacted your career? If you have not been affected directly, have you witnessed the effect on colleagues, business associates, and clients?

Leading yourself first in your organization, your career and your life requires clarity around questions such as these. Can you lead your team with confidence regarding business decisions that impact them directly? Do you trust yourself to take the necessary commercial risk to grow your business into a viable entity? Are you ready to take the leap of faith associated with a career change? When we truly understand that our values underpin everything about us that makes us tick, we are able to approach the crossroads with greater conviction.

Michelle’s book, “Lead Yourself First”  is due for worldwide release this year.





Getting Unstuck: Finding momentum to create change

The truth is that many of us are never taught how to lead ourselves at work, in business and in life. As a result, we settle for mediocrity and dissatisfaction.  Why is it that so many talented, creative people stay in jobs that make them miserable?  Is it because family responsibilities must come first and the financial risks associated with leaving are too great? Is it the fear of the unknown, the comfort of the status quo? “Better the devil you know”…etc? Or is self-doubt, a lack of faith, trust…perhaps all of the above? We have a burning desire to transform professionally and personally, to alter the course of our vocation, to let go of people and situations that no longer serve us, yet we hold back. Until the level of discontent becomes greater than the fear of change; we will stay stuck, perhaps for many years.

The Towers Watson’s 2010 Global Workforce Study of over 22,000 employees in 22 markets revealed some key points regarding career change and choices. These are particularly interesting findings for anyone considering making life-altering decisions regarding one’s professional path. From their surveys, they discovered that mobility is at a decade-long low point, and many are sacrificing career growth for a secure job. Their results also indicated that confidence in leaders and managers is disturbingly low.

A recessionary environment exacerbates the feeling of helplessness, as we believe that we cannot escape our situation. When we experience enormous frustration ith our employer due to a poor relationship and lack of support from our immediate manager, we slowly begin disengaging from our work. When you add these two factors together, it is no wonder that people lose interest in what they are doing and genuinely feel stuck. How do you free yourself from the “trapped” experience?

1.  Realize that self-doubt is often at the core of your fear

In the words of Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Recognize that the opposite of fear is faith. We prefer to stay “safe” and therefore it is understandable that we can easily justify our rationale to maintain the status quo. By listing the “pros” and “cons” associated with moving in, we can get clarity around the feeling of being at an impasse.

2. Pay attention to the signs that are pointing you in another direction

When we are caught up in the fear, we often miss the signs indicating a new path. By taking the step outlined above, we will have more awareness regarding the signposts that are either subtle or flashing neon lights, guiding us elsewhere.

3. If your job and workplace aren’t going to change, it is up to you to initiate change

Staying stuck in a job or career where the situation has become untenable will invariably take a toll. Only you can decide whether that psychological toll of staying outweighs the financial risk of leaving. If you can find the momentum to re-think your attitudes and beliefs around creating change, change will happen!


Fish Jumping: Photo by Danilo Rizzuti


Eight steps to communicating Change

Using Caring Communication when dealing with Change:  

During the past few months, a trend has emerged regarding the information clients are requesting that I cover during my presentations and workshops. Almost always, the topics of workplace communication and managing change come up during the pre-event conference calls. Therefore, it is no surprise that these two subjects are inexorably linked. We cannot effectively manage change without communication and if we don’t communicate effectively, we experience frustration and resistance to change. There are a myriad of change realities that organizations and individuals are trying to grasp.  How do you confidently communicate change? For organizations, the biggest concerns relate to greater transparency, compliance, accountability, cut-backs and budget constraints. How do organizations communicate these issues without inciting fear and negativity? Unfortunately, blunders occur because change is communicated hurriedly; without careful consideration, thought or care.

At the heart of it all is that people and organizations as a whole are trying to achieve one thing: Buy-in. The question is: “how do I get people to buy into the change process?”  The most important and often neglected fact is that the responsibility for any communication always lies with the SENDER. It does not matter whether communication is face-to-face, email or telephone. It is not the receiver’s job to try and decipher meaning. The sender needs to be clear and adapt the delivery of their message based on the receiver’s preference and style. In order to masterfully communicate change, as the sender and initiator of the communication, the key is in knowing how to deliver the news with sensitivity. The old adage “before I care how much you know, I need to know how much you care” must be recognized in the sequence of communicating change. Emotions first. Logic second.  Here are the steps, in order:

  1. Recognize that change is an emotional experience
  2. Address the receiver’s fears
  3. Tell the recipient/s how the change will benefit THEM
  4. Show them at least one greater benefit of the change that makes sense to them, versus the maintaining the status quo
  5. Ask for input and actively listen to responses
  6. Tell the recipient/s how the change will benefit the organization
  7. Involve the recipient/s in the change process
  8. Celebrate the accomplishment of moving through the change as a team

If you follow these eight steps, plan your delivery and sincerely take the time to think about how the receiver will interpret your news regarding change, the likelihood of a negative reaction will be significantly diminished. Remember, you have already established a reputation based on your current repertoire of communication skills. When you alter your style, people are often suspicious and may doubt your new approach. It takes time to build credibility as a great communicator.

Photo: Time For Change by Salvatore Vuono