One of the core elements of my change management programs is a mindset. If you understand what people think of the change and the emotions the change is evoking, you can design a change program that will help them make the transition.
There are a few reasons why focusing on mindset works:
- Making time to understand what it means to them demonstrates a genuine interest in them – we know that empathy leads to engagement.
- Gaining a good understanding of what they value about the current situation will tell you what evidence you need to provide to convince them that the change is worthwhile (and if you can’t find this evidence, then you might question whether in deed change is needed!)
- Finding out what they are worried about will help you design strategies to deal with their concerns, providing them with the assurance they need to move forward. Their worries also provide you with great material for your risk management strategy.
So how do you delve into their mindset? Here are a few ideas that have worked for me:
- Create a transition space. This is a regular forum that is short and can be part of an existing meeting that provides everyone with the opportunity to reflect on the change.
- Engage your people in defining the problems that the change is intended to fix. This allows them to discuss what they value and what the change will need to deliver for them to get on board.
- Allow them to discuss their concerns and come up with strategies that will address these – put these in your risk management strategy.
- Give them an opportunity to diagnose how they think of change in general. This self-awareness can be very powerful in shifting mindsets that are habitually resistant, to self-actualizing – which is all about finding opportunities to be better.