Change: The Big Bad Wolf

Change. It’s one of those scary words, that to many, illicit the symptoms of fear; nausea, heart palpitations, knots in your stomach, and the list goes on. But why, considering our world is always changing?

Well, probably because in many occasions, change has turned our lives upside down, hitting us in the face without the opportunity to prepare for it. For some, change equals the unknown, and for others, change equals opportunity. Whatever way you look at it, we can’t escape it, so how do we deal with it?

Change? But Why?!

In the world of business, ‘change’ is generally JUST done; it’s a deliverable, and objective that is met through planning and implementation. A service needs to be cut? Done. Teams need to be merged? Done.

Often what companies fail to realize, is that in between these deliverables and objectives, there are people (alive, kicking and fearing everything they can possibly conjure up in their mind about this change!).

The thing is, change is an event. It just happens. Deliverable completed. Check . But, we as humans need time to adapt and get on board with it. So how do you do it? How can we help employees and team members adjust to change?

The Path of Least Resistance: Communicate

Helping people adapt to change is not easy, trust me; a few may stay in denial for ever. But some, and hopefully most, will start to budge and jump on board with the change.

The key here is communication.

Here are 3 ways you can help people adapt to change through communication:

1. Bring them along with the story (in this case the change): If you can involve them in the development of the change, then do so. People will be less likely to resist if they feel that they’ve had a say or have been exposed to the thought process, and thus understand the whys, the what’s and the how’s, etc.

2. Paint the Whole Picture: Don’t just tell people the pro’s about the change. They’ll think that you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes, and in return they won’t buy-in to the change. Be honest. Discuss the cons as well, and what you’re doing to address them.

3. Open the Forum!: Sometimes hearing you talk or reading materials you’ve provided is not enough. Some people need to share their feelings openly and in a group who is experiencing the same impact . This approach allows for a healthy discussion and it allows for people to share thoughts or opinions they might not have done so one on one with you.

Until Next Time!