Timing is Everything When You're Changing

Change is a tough thing for some people to do. It isn't usually because they are anti-change - even though that doesn't happen. It's usually because of bad timing.

Those who never change - These people are usually stuck in a time period or culture that was popular in the past. Leadership and management styles usually reflect something that worked long ago. As long as the people that they work with respond well to those leadership styles, then everything is ok. But as time goes on, this becomes harder and harder. Eventually people who don't change fade away.

Those who fight change - These people are different from those who never change. They will fight what they don't understand. They will fight what seems threatening to them. They will fight anything that will devalue them.

Those who embrace change - These people don't do so foolishly. They see what needs to happen and determine if it is the right thing to do. They don't change for changes sake, they change to promote, fulfill and encourage.

So what does timing have to do with this?

When you are about to present change to an organization or group of people you first need to determine who or what you are up against. The longer you have served as a leader, the easier it is to introduce change. You have already gained their faith and trust. If you don't have their faith and trust, you need to get that first before you proceed with any change.

Then determine if there are those who will never change, fight change or embrace change. Take the time to communicate openly and frequently with all of them. While those who will never change will always do everything they can to slow you down, the ones who openly embrace change will probably get frustrated with you if you don't speed things along.

Take as much risk out of the change as possible. This can only be addressed per situation. There is no way to eliminate all the risks from any given situation. But people will fight change if they are afraid of it. Don't let that happen. Take the risks but don't be afraid of them.

Always tell people the positive possibilities of change. Let them know what there is to be gained by doing what you are purposing. If all they see is negative - then they will resist. But if they see the possibilities - then they can choose.

Lead don't bully. Using blunt force trauma to get change your way isn't necessarily the best way to produce change. Lead people to go on the trip with you. But remember, not everyone is going to go on that trip all the time. In reality, there are very few people who can go with you on a lifelong journey. There are those today who openly embrace change that can become those who will never accept it. Why? Because they changed. Funny huh?

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