Why Making The Case For Change Isn’t Enough

2 min read · 7 years ago



Ratings for cable channels like MTV and Comedy Central are plummeting as more viewers tune in to Netflix and YouTube, prompting Viacom to cut jobs.

The company announced it’s laying off workers to save more than $350 million and reinvest in other areas to spur growth.

For Viacom staff, one thing is clear—change is never easy, even with well-established reasons and a strong sense of urgency.

That’s why it’s not enough for leaders to simply make the case for change. People don’t change when they’re motivated to change; they change when they’re ready to change.

One of the most important roles for any leader managing change is to facilitate change readiness among their employees.

I shared this challenge in a recent interview I did with Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate.

Facilitating change readiness requires a shift in how the leader operates. It’s not about driving the change or exhorting the importance of it; it’s about leading a dialogue that enables people to find their own way to accept it.

Here are three ways leaders can prepare their employees to embrace change, rather than forcing it on them.

1. Engage Employees In Change Talk

Change talk is a series of statements that represent positive reasons for supporting change. The more employees engage in change talk, the more they seriously think about changing. Look for ways to initiate change talk at staff meetings or in casual conversations. Ask employees to tell you why they think the changes are necessary, rather than telling them.

Ask how important the change is and how confident they are in their ability to accomplish it. Press them for specific examples. As the conversation continues, look for ways to reinforce their positive statements and help them build confidence.

2. Show Empathy

Our own research has shown a reflective and empathetic style, rather than an authoritative one, is most effective when we want to change someone’s behavior. Be willing to listen to the concerns and criticisms they raise. Let employees know you understand their frustrations, and offer to support them in any way you can.

3. Be Honest And Forthcoming

Uncertainty is inevitable during any transition. Expect frequent questions, and be honest if you don’t have all the answers. Be forthcoming with the information you do have and when you anticipate knowing the rest.

Managing change effectively requires involving everyone in the process. It’s not a matter of motivating people to change as much as it is preparing them to accept it.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why Making The Case For Change Isn’t Enough

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