Change Management: A Guide to Leading Change

How to Lead Change with Minimal Resistance

Change Management: A Guide to Leading ChangeLeading change is not easy. One of the difficulties is gaining support from staff members. Communicating the rational for change and repeating your message is important in order to gain staff support.

Leading change is difficult but a learned skill, therefore improvement is possible. Click To Tweet

Explain the Change

The first step is to begin on a positive note and be convinced yourself that the change is for the best.

  • The leader must have the courage to deliver bad news.
  • Given that people in general remember negative events best, the leader must be clear, concise, and communicate positives as well. Negative or critical comments become the focal point.

Be Accountable

Leaders must acknowledge mistakes and accept accountability.

  • This builds trust as staff understands the notion that we cannot be right all of the time.

Communicate and Engage

Ask questions, instead of issuing orders.

  • This helps to engage staff and let them be a part of the change.
  • People do not like being ordered around, particularly when facing a major change.
  • Open communication and real conversations regarding the impacts of the change is necessary.

Acknowledge and Motivate

Praise and encouragement are keys to tackling change.

  • When giving praise, be genuine and sincere, deliver praise as soon as possible, make it specific, and do it publicly if appropriate.
  • When communicating with staff during a change, provide encouraging words. Show that you believe in your staffs’ capabilities and focus on what motivates them.

Set Expectations

Expectations are challenging during a period of change.

  • Leaders must get people to believe they can change and chances are they will.
  • Give staff a reputation to live up to.

Leading Change is Challenging, Give it Time

Leading change is difficult; it takes time, effort, and good communication. It is a learned skill, therefore improving your capabilities is possible. Most staff members want to do the right thing although, there are times staff needs a push in the right direction. If you fail in your attempt to lead a successful change, learn and try again.

Bruce Tompkins

As the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Consortium, Bruce serves as a subject matter expert on topics spanning the supply chain, and he is the conference chairman and facilitator for the Consortium’s annual event – the Supply Chain Leadership Forum.
He has been quoted in numerous industry publications including Supply Chain Quarterly, IndustryWeek, SupplyChainBrain, and Appliance Magazine.
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