Are You the Wet Blanket on Change?
7 Ways Transformational Leaders Accidentally Hinder Change Management
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through.
Change is the one constant we can rely on. While leaders may be eager for their teams to master change leadership and manage change gracefully, sometimes it’s hard to make a change. It’s not just that change is hard. Leaders often unintentionally hinder their teams with their own reactions and words. We humans want other humans to conform to our comfort zones. It’s an instinctual act, and it requires committed intention to overcome.
Are you a wet blanket on the change initiative of another? Good question to ponder.
Picture sending your kids off to summer camp. What is the parent’s natural admonition? “Stay safe.” What if the real send off was to “have fun,” “learn things,” or “enjoy your great adventure”?
We generally recoil when we hear, “That’s the way we’ve always done things around here.” If we are honest, that little voice of “don’t change” is active in each of us. Homeostasis is the norm. Change represents the unknown that activates our cellular memory of fear.
To do something different takes effort.
As a transformational leader, it’s crucial to look inward and ask: Are you inadvertently damping the enthusiasm for change? Are YOU the wet blanket – offering advice, steering towards a safer path, blocking change effort, sitting in positional superiority?
The mark of an emotionally intelligent leader is accurate self-appraisal. Get on to yourself about this. If you are blocking a change effort or doubting an outcome or inserting your opinion one too many times, YOU ARE THE BLOCKAGE. Root it out so that you can walk into your wisdom as an agent and supporter of change.
The only real thing in our world right now is that things are changing.
Encouraging change ideas and actions from within your teams is key to fostering innovation, resilience, courage, and adaptability. Remembering that the best ideas for change often come from those closest to the action will keep you humble and open.
If you find yourself in the nay-sayer seat and resisting change, here are a few ways you may be stopping yourself:
Mostly, pay close attention to your judgments, criticisms, fears, and unwanted consultations. . Remember, as David Bowie’s lyrics suggest, change is a part of growth, and as leaders, embracing it is the way forward.
You’ve got this.
Mary Pat Knight is CEO of Leaders Inspired an executive coaching and consulting agency devoted to the development of emotionally intelligent leaders. She is also the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Selling book, The Humanized Leader.
The ground-breaking new book, The Humanized Leader: The Transformative Power of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership to Impact Culture, Team and Business Results, is now available in Kindle, paperback, or as an audiobook. To get your copy or extras for your team, click the button below.