How to get people to accept a tough change

Constant, complex, messy change is the “new normal”.

As leaders, we are not only responsible for driving major changes in our organisations, but we are responsible for recognising and regulating our own personal responses to these changes.

Yesterday I was working with a group of public servants, teaching them about dealing with change. And one of the key themes throughout our conversation was that even organisational change is deeply personal.

Even if we are all responding to the same change, we can respond in different ways. Some are excited and ready to jump straight in. Some despair that their entire world is collapsing.

And these responses are more apparent, more diverse and more extreme when we are dealing with tough change.

Our job as leaders is NOT to avoid tough change. Our job as leaders is to support people to reach a place of understanding and acceptance with those tough decisions.

David Maxfield gives some great advice in his Harvard Business Review article on how you can get people to accept though decisions and the change they bring. He says that “Uncertainty and value complexity cause us to dither, delay, and defer, when we need to act”. So as leaders you need to take deliberate actions that help reduce uncertainty and overcome value complexity (that is, the cost to some of those impacted).

David’s advice really reinforced two key points for me – the need for brave action and genuine conversations to achieve a good change process.

You can read more yourself here:

Do you have any tips from your own experience of supporting your teams to accept tough change? Share in the comments.

And if you feel you could use some support in dealing a tough change right now, then just type CHANGE in the comments or send me a DM and I will be in touch.

– Natalie Dawes, CEO & Founder

#leadershipcoaching #leadershipdevelopment #leadershipskills #managingchange 

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