How To Be Honest and Open About Change
Change is inevitable, especially in the workplace.
Leading your team through change is a challenge that comes with the responsibility of leadership.
Team members need to feel taken care of during a big change at work. It’s your job as upper management to show effective leadership and a well-laid-out action plan.
When your team is going through a big change, it’s important to demonstrate resiliency. It’s your job to figure out the best strategy to make the change happen and communicate that to the team. This sets your team up for success.
Because change is a part of life, it’s important to know how to go with the flow. This can be especially hard in the workplace, but it’s crucial for success. Sometimes you’ve got to create your own flow, and other times you just have to roll with the punches. In order to set your team up for a successful change, create action plans to make the change happen smoothly.
There are many ways to make change in the workplace go well. Here are three of the most effective tips to lead your team through change:
1. Communicate With Your Team Members
Effective leadership comes with honesty and openness. Good management starts from the top, and that means communicating with your team. Empower your employees to communicate their needs openly, effectively, and honestly. Have open channels of communication such as:
- Private Slack channels
- Microsoft Teams.
It’s important when leading your team through change not just to focus on the what of the situation. You need to talk about why the change is happening. This will increase employee buy-in and cooperation.
Encourage collaboration and include employees in the process early on to increase their commitment to the change. Be patient and try to stay positive, adapt to the challenges, and commit to the process.
Keep Communication Open
Support your employees and remove barriers to employee success. Listen to their feedback. Don’t just focus on results, but include the stakeholders in the change process. Stakeholders include:
- Board members
- Team members
Get input and feedback from your team members. This will also create buy-in and increase cooperation.
Don’t keep secrets from your team. Share what you know with them. Keep the team informed of what’s going on, how things are going to change, what the new deadlines are, and what their new roles will be. Let your team know what the plan is. Open communication is how to lead your team through change.
2. Be Empathetic
A little empathy goes a long way. Leading through change is difficult. You’re creating action plans, managing expectations, dealing with different team members, and trying to solve problems. The most important thing to remember is to be empathetic.
Put yourself in your team’s shoes. Think about how you would feel in the midst of the changes taking place. Be there for them and show them that you care. This what will set you apart as an empathetic leader.
Empathy is how you lead through change.
In order to be empathetic, you need to listen. Be understanding and compassionate. You don’t need to cater to every team member’s whim – you just need to show that you care and that you’re there for them with an empathetic ear.
Acknowledge that change is difficult, even if it’s for the best. Be understanding of how the change is impacting your team members. Really listen to your team. Let them know they can come to you with issues and fears. Recognize and acknowledge to your team that change is scary and that you are there to support them through it.
3. Deal With Conflicts When Leading Your Team Through Change
Leading your team through change requires grace and humility. Give your team the opportunity to express their fears about the change. Solve problems as a team.
It’s important to strategize and execute action plans when leading your team through change.
- Empower your team.
- Look at the big picture and don’t micromanage.
- Trust your team to get things done.
When conflicts arise, remember to be empathetic and compassionate. Remember to communicate and use empathy. Change is stressful and there will inevitably be conflicts during the process. Be open to things and listen with an empathetic and compassionate ear. Resolve conflicts gracefully. Keep your team optimistic by leading by example.
Most importantly, let your team know that they’re doing a good job.
Especially in times of great change and upheaval, it’s important to encourage your team. Praise team members for the things they’re doing well. Congratulate the team for getting through the change together. Demonstrate conflict resolution throughout the process.
How To Lead Through Change
Now that you know our three most effective tips for leading your team through change, it’s time to put them into action.
You may have noticed that they go hand-in-hand. Communication, empathy, and conflict resolution are three of the most important aspects of leading people. Your ability to set your team members up for success is what will get you and your team through whatever change you’re facing in the workplace.
If you want to discuss resources for leading your team through change, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today.