Why is it that so many change management initiatives fail? In order to achieve buy-in, the first step involves understanding the impact of change. Individual perceptions regarding change are based on experiences; both personal and professional. As Newton’s law states: A body at rest stays at rest. A body in motion keeps moving. Change is a choice. The adage: Nothing changes if nothing changes is highly relevant for today’s leaders. When a person discovers his or her “pain point” then he or she is ready to move forward. The same principles apply for organizations. Change is a visceral, emotional experience.
The need to change is often perceived as illogical by managers and employees like. For a leader to effectively implement change initiatives, the “gap” between emotion and logic needs to be addressed, in a very specific order. A plethora of research has been conducted on the subject of change management and many excellent, scholarly articles have been written identifying tools and processes to engage people during times of change. However, addressing the human element FIRST can alleviate the collective angst and resistance.
So, is change management really that hard? Or is it really a mindset? A leader who demonstrates empathy and acknowledges the foreboding sentiments of fear and concern will likely be more successful in the long term. Possessing awareness and practicing emotional intelligence are key leadership attributes. By exercising both, leaders are ideally positioned to positively influence people and situations in order to achieve desired change management outcomes. Simply put: Change isn’t logical. And that’s why most people struggle. That’s why organizations struggle, leaders struggle and people at every level find it challenging to shift.
When you start to make that shift in how you see change and realize that it is a question of your own perception, you will be better equipped to fully implement all the change management strategies that you already have set in motion. By recognizing and empathizing with the genuine concerns of your team as a key priority, you can create a stronger bond and a more trusting environment for change initiatives to occur.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com