|It was Dickens who wrote about the two constants in our lives ? death and taxes. I believe if he lived now in our rapidly developing world he would add a third constant and that is change. Never before have things moved faster. The speed of change appears to be accelerating and there is no sign that the pace will slow in the future. Technology, medicine, and the formal infrastructure of the Western world are changing on a daily basis and they are just the tip of the iceberg.|
All of us need some sense of certainty or control in our lives; to feel safe and secure and to feel that we have some control over our destiny. The level of certainty each individual requires before they feel comfortable varies enormously. It is our individual attitude and ability to the not knowing what will happen which determines how well we deal with change. A good indicator is to ask for reactions to a surprise party. For many it would create a sense of dread. One client said, ?I?d love a surprise party if I knew in advance so I could have my hair done and buy a new dress. Oh and I?d like to know who is coming.? Others would enjoy the excitement of a total surprise. Feeling everything is out of control has a negative impact on our sense of self and our well- being. It is this sense of uncertainty which causes high levels of stress.
Managing change as a leader is a challenge, taking staff who are fearful of that change requires an understanding of the fear and the ability to create a sense of control and security for those staff. Not easy when there are no clear answers. So what is it which facilitates the effective management of people in times of significant change:
- A clear vision which is shared by all
- Strategic planning is on-going and effective
- Good relationships based on mutual respect and trust
- Effective two way communications where leaders listen actively
- Professional honesty
- A culture where staff see themselves as part of the solution and are actively engaged in the process. When things are really tough it is even more important that staff and leaders see themselves as an inter-dependent relationship.
If you are involved in managing change for yourself or as a manager and you?d like some help or support contact me.
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