As ‘managers of people’ some of what we do with our team on a daily basis is about getting them to change something that they currently do.

It might be to change the way they act. Or change the way they talk. Or change how they think or behave in front of clients, or with each other.

Or it might be to change the way they do consultations or cut or colour hair or how they talk about retail.

I’m sure sometimes you get ‘the change’ that you want …and sometimes you don’t. When you don’t who’s fault is it?

I’m sure it’s always their fault 🙂 …but then again, maybe not.

The biggest mistake…

I see people make when they are trying to get others to change is that they don’t spend enough time ‘with the person they want to get the change from’ for them to completely understand why and how change is needed.

So right from the beginning, there is a lack of cooperation, a feeling that they are being attacked, picked on or not appreciated. A feeling that they are not valued or understood. And as a result, frustration, mistrust and sometimes the desire to prove you wrong or to sabotage is inevitable… 

It needn’t be like that…

Sometimes there are changes that you need done ‘NOW!’ And at such times perhaps you need to be very direct. But, most times you are much better off to spend the time to get the person onside and to get them to ‘buy into’ the why and how of change.

You might have to tread lightly or beat around the bush for a bit, but that is not wasted time. It’s often simply the process that needs to be taken to understand, and eventually get the best out of each other.

Depending on what the change is, the person who you want the change from may sometimes have far more experience and understanding at the ‘coal face’ than you do! If that’s the case you would be hugely arrogant and foolish to not get them onside and to use their experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome.

For example imagine you have someone on your team who is in charge of inventory control, and that you want them to change how it’s done. Sometimes, because they have been doing something a certain way for a period of time they might have very useful insights into why the change you’re suggesting isn’t actually a good idea.

Maybe that’s not the best example but I am sure you get the idea.

Change isn’t always easy…

Most people have a lot invested in how and why they think, act, or do something a certain way. And taking the time to understand their perspective and get them fully engaged in bringing about change will pay dividends for everyone.

‘Letting go' is often the issue…

Letting go of what we know has worked in the past in order to embrace what ‘may or may not’ work in the future is what holds many people back from embracing change.

But if you want to be effective as a leader, manager, teacher. Or even a parent or mentor, you need to develop the skills to bring out the best that everyone has to offer.

You need to get them, to not only understand why change is needed. But more importantly to get them to recognise and feel that they are an essential and valued component in making change happen.

If you haven’t already read them, I suggest you read my books ‘GROW 2 Management’ and GROW 3 Team where there are many ideas to help with ‘Change’.

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