Leading through Transitions

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Pruning an overgrown tree exposes bald stems. Some trees might take a couple of years for the new growth to emerge. During the transition period, the lesser aesthetic appearance is inevitable. For a business going through a transition, it could face unsettling behaviors and feelings of angst.

To keep concerns at bay and the transition momentum going, there are 3 things you could do.

  1. Demonstrate confidence

The uncertain future state triggers anxiety for many as jobs, roles and responsibilities might be at stake. As leaders, you need to demonstrate strong beliefs that the change will effect positive improvement for the customers, the employees or the company as a whole. When employees sense any lack of confidence, it presents opportunities for resistance. This could prolong the duration of the transition.

  1. Display sensitivity

Despite the effort to minimize unnecessary disruption, individuals could be overwhelmed and stressed both professionally and personally. It is important to show empathy to the feelings and reactions of the employees. Being firm about the change is one thing, but showing the understanding of what the employees go through demonstrates sensitivity and care. That sensitivity is manifest through frank conversations. Being firm about the change is one thing, but showing the understanding of what the employees go through demonstrates sensitivity and care. Click To Tweet

  1. Communicate honestly

For a business to succeed, the employees need to understand the state of the business. In other words, providing the big picture view of how the business would win in the competitive marketplace not only engages the employees, it helps to build the team spirit. That means communications must include the good, the bad, and the ugly on a regular basis. Make it a culture of the business to be open in sharing information constantly, not just when a change is pending.

There will be challenges along the way in the implementation of change. How they are handled makes a difference in the adaptive behavior and the morale of those impacted. By demonstrating confidence, displaying sensitivity, and communicating honestly, you provide the support the implementation team needs and the mental comfort the employees seek during the transition.

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