Coaxing Change Can Be Better Than Forcing Change

Joe Weinlick
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If you've ever tried to drive change in your organization, you're sure to be familiar with just how resistant many people are to moving in a new direction. Luckily, there is a better approach to implementing change. Follow these steps to coax change in your team, while also gleaning new ideas for continuous improvement within your organization.

Share the Problem

The best way to start implementing change is by sharing the reason that change is necessary. Are sales flagging? Is your company expanding? Do industry advances require new protocols? Whatever the reason, your team is more likely to handle change better when they understand the reason behind new ways of doing things. In some cases, you may not be able to share the entire reason for the change, but do your best to share enough information as possible to ensure employees aren't totally in the dark.

Plant Seeds

Keep your team informed about the possibility of change from the early stages of any new plan. Coax your team by letting them see flaws in the current way of doing things along with possible better ways for doing things in the future. Gently implementing change means no big announcements. Instead, work with your team to find and foster solutions in areas that need improvement day by day. Slow, incremental changes help ensure your employees have time to get use to the idea of change one step at a time.

Exercise Patience

Expect resistance when implementing change. Some of your best workers might be the slowest to get on board with new ideas. Avoid criticizing those who show reluctance when faced with modifications to their work methods or environment. A better management technique is to exercise patience, giving those workers the space and time needed to adjust to changes in their own ways. Remember that work quality and quantity might temporarily decline during times of change, but with a little forbearance, it is probable that your staff will see the benefits of the changes and come to embrace new ways of doing things.

Listen to Concerns

Watch for your most resistant employees, and approach them to hear their concerns. Remember that your workers may be able to see the downside of proposed changes better than you do. Listening offers you a chance to get new ideas and make improvements to your original idea. Involving your staff while implementing changes provides new opportunities for innovations to help ensure the best outcome for everyone.

In the end, change can only occur when the people in your organization cooperate. If you find yourself trying to force change, take a step back and evaluate your management techniques. If necessary, place greater emphasis on patience, listening and collaboration to move your whole team in the best direction for your organization. This style of implementing change also fosters better communication among management and workers.

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