Having something constant when all around you is changing is one of the best ways to be able to know where you are and how you can move forwards. Feeling lost in a fog is something that can be very disconcerting and affect performance.
As a leader you need to be able to deal with the fact that things are changing for your team, all the time. In fact it could be said that a leader’s role is how to get staff to change – work smarter/ better/ more productively, in other words it’s about change and nothing else.
Things that can make your staff dislike change are losing any/ all of their:
This article is about how you can help your team deal with the fourth of those.
Leadership, constants and change.
Another reason that people find change hard to deal with is the real, or perceived, loss of constants. Those constants may be people or processes. If there are no constants and everything is changing it is possible to lose yourself totally. Imagine being blindfolded, in a strange place and floating in mid air; there are no constants that you can draw on. If you were in a room that you knew, or your feet were on the floor it would be less scary.
Losing these constants is one of the things that can lead to the 5 stages of grief that Kubler Ross describes (it’s probably the best known “change curve models, of which there are several). These models describe the stages that people go through when they are going through change (organisational, emotional or personal).
What can you do to help your team?
In many cases it is as simple as ensuring that people realise how much is staying the same despite the changes. I’ve managed some big reorganisations and yet it’s common that 75% of things stay the same. Realising this can help people realise there are constants around them.
Working in groups and talking about what is changing and what is staying the same can be beneficial; different people saying what’s staying the same is better than you proclaiming it!
Showing how things have already changed over time can help demonstrate the much abused phrase “evolution not revolution”. It’s a great phrase, when it’s genuine and can be seen by people.
You may also like to read , to help get your team through the emotions of change more quickly.
What’s your experience, have you found it more difficult to be motivated when you don’t know where there are any constants and everything feels as if it’s changing around you?