In this series, we will talk about why change is difficult and how to walk through change well as an organization. If we understanding what people go through, we can better lead them through the process.
Four Stages of Change for Groups
Groups, teams, or comittees go through stages – denial, resistance, exploration, and committment.
Denial stage is a conscience or subconscience refusal to accept the organizations current or future proposed reality. Resistance is the “not fair” stage or the “over my dead body” language. Exploration is where people are willing to explore pilot programs, even though they are still skeptical. The Committment stage are the people who are on board, but may need more information, or right away see the benefit of the plan provided.
Sometimes our first reaction is to get rid of those who are resistant to that change, but those people can be some of your biggest allies later, if you treat them well. You are going to have those who are resistant to change; you need to learn to work with them and guide them through their needs.
Three Needs of Groups
Groups all have the same desires, the three things they like: control, communication, and committment.
If groups don’t feel in control, they can start to feel like a mob. Communication is all about redundancy in multiple & different ways – you can’t overcommunicate to groups. Committment comes after you’ve addressed their concerns.
Here are some tools that leaders can use in each of these needs.
Tools to Manage the Control Need
Provide the team with tools to find their control. Voting could be one tool you use. Teams have some responsibility to; to ask question, to find ways to contribute, to utilize the change management tools provided. Remind the group as often as you can that they are cared about, not taken care of. They are equipped and have resources on how to work the group through change.
Tools to Manage the Communication Need
As a leader, we need to be a good observer of behavior, and know when to address one on one and as a group. Be open and honest, tell the team what you can, when you can. Be consistent – set regular ways to inform people. Be accurate, be factual as possible in a fair and honest way. People will smell out if you are being dishonest.
Tools to Manage the Committment Need
Mantain a consistancy of purpose. Most people want to know what is going on, even if it is bad news. Provide appropriate leadership, and let them run away with an idea when they can. Provide a level playing field, don’t change the rules throughout the process. Celebrate the victories! From Stephen Covey’s work, we know that everyone wants to know and be known and wants to be celebrated. It’s not the act of appreciation, it’s the appreciation behind the act. Don’t underestimate the small gestures.
Create an environment that will encourage people no matter what stage they are in. After coaching, give them time to respond. Help them move forward, when applicable, but not too fast.
We need to get to where we are now to where we need to be, but we need to tread cafefully with the people involved. Join us next week as we conclude our series on Change Management with Dr. Glenn Miller.
Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Glenn Miller, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this third episode in our Change Management series.