Recall a time in your business or life where you chose to implement a change, and some people did not take it well. Maybe they left the company or became disengaged. Worse, maybe they tried to sabotage you. What causes this adverse result and how do we fix it?
People handle change differently: they can run the gamut from those who tend to be comfortable with the status quo, and those who like to disrupt old processes and create change. And in the middle of these two are pragmatists who look at the situation from a more objective standpoint.
The secret is that anyone can just as easily be open to change if you do it right. Think about it: Anyone will be on board with change if it’s a change they choose to do rather than change done to them.
So how do we manage the situation of implementing change that others don’t choose? Well, we turn it into a change that they choose to do. Here are 3 simple steps to do so:
Before you can convince anyone to do anything, you have to first add massive value to their lives. AND... you have to give them what THEY perceive as valuable, not what YOU perceive as valuable. Think of a time you easily followed a leader, of your own accord, without force or fear of losing something like your job. You followed a leader that you chose yourself, not one that was chosen for you. Often you may see that the people you hire tend to follow you, but with the people you inherit, it’s harder to get their buy-in. That’s because people more easily follow those they CHOOSE to follow, not those who were chosen for them. Even if they make the decision to follow you for fear of losing their job, it won’t be 100% authentic. And that is risky.
So again, to get the true, authentic buy-in of your team when you have to implement change, you must FIRST add massive value to their lives. No one will be open to give you what you want (what you value) unless you first give them what they want (what they value). Add value to their lives first. And that leads to the second must-have element for this to work…
Secondly, you need to establish the trust of the people before they can be on board with the change. Trust must be there before even hinting at change. You build trust gradually, by consistently following through with your promises and showing that you care.
And the more you get people to see your real authentic self – scars, vulnerabilities, and all – the more they can start to trust you. Start by revealing something vulnerable about yourself. By reciprocity, if you are to show yourself, they will feel encouraged to show their true selves too. Be transparent, always. Sure, as a leader there may be some things you can’t share, but tell them why. And always share what you can, and what you know that can improve their lives and allow them to live to their fullest.
Once trust is established, you need to make sure the people feel that you truly care about them and their needs, and you are not just pushing an agenda on them. You do this by attunement. Attunement is getting on their frequency. Like a radio station, everyone is on a different frequency. You get on another person’s frequency by seeing the world through their eyes, without judgment. You have to ask them how they feel about this, what are their concerns, and what they want to preserve. You have to genuinely connect with everyone and make them feel you care. This is recommended for all people – every single person in the company.
Attunement is the first step towards making people know you care about them genuinely, and will, therefore, make the right decisions for their benefit. Servant leadership is a style of leadership where the leader takes care of the needs of their team so that the team can feel taken care of and perform their best. Servant leaders serve their team for their greater good. People have to feel that you genuinely care about their best interests before they can authentically line up behind you.
Whenever a change is occurring, and you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself: When was a time that you readily adopted change? What kind of conditions were in place? What made you choose to make that change happily? Share your story in the comments below.
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