Posts Tagged ‘resistance’

Change at Work – Bring a friend

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Its  so much easier to do something different or scary if someone else does it too.  We used to dare each other to do something “dangerous.” But it wasn’t so bad if someone else did it first. Courage comes in many forms. Even as adults we often prefer to go somewhere new when we take a friend to explore with us.

When it comes to Change in the workplace, we often feel like we are alone in our fears. Leaders can encourage people to bring a colleague to the informational meetings, the training, and other change related events. Team up people for the training. Provide fun incentives for enrolling their friends.  When the going gets rough, encourage them to help each other, not compete, so everyone can get up the hill. As they see each others’ successes, a wedge of success is created. We reduce resistance the change when we experience success together. As others begin to see the success, they will be less resistant and join their friends.

How else can we build success in our Change projects?

Change Success – Initiate more conversations

Monday, May 9th, 2011

When there is an organizational change, a systems upgrade or change in policy/procedures or leadership, a common mis-belief is that if we give people the facts, they can handle the change.  Facts are important to answer the “why” question.  But it doesn’t get to a personal level – and that’s where the change must be successful. We search to answer, “What’s in it for me?”

And people don’t always know what questions to ask. So we have a workplace that has a heavy silence with no one saying what’s on their mind.  Denial is abundant.

An effective leader will initiate more conversations, not less, to uncover the concerns and questions.  There are many levels to the “why” and “how” questions. Some can be answered, must many cannot until later. And many of the best solutions come from the people who will do the hands-on work to implement the change. So when people ask pointed questions or just glare at you, ask them, “What is your concern?” and “What do you think would make this work?” Incorporate some craziness into developing new solutions (and let off a little steam). Allow them to vent without repercussions.

Emotions – anger, frustration, disappointment – are all a part of dealing with the change.  Help people be resilient by listening, without judgment and without trying to “fix” their concerns. Ask what they have done in the past that helped them through similar stressful times.  Ask them to think how they want to feel a month after the change is implemented. Visualizing positive outcomes helps reduce the current negative conversations.

What helps you be resilient?

WIIFM? First, Listen

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

People are so overwhelmed by things changing in their lives and their work that we can count on them begin distracted while we are trying to communicate. Whether you are leading a training session or a meeting, over half the people are preoccupied with other thoughts.  Some are already gearing up to argue with you.

Our tendency is to talk more and to talk louder to get their attention. We need to deliver our message realizing they hear it through their “What’s In It For Me?” filter.  Anything that will touch my wallet will elicit an emotional response.  We need to talk just enough to deliver your message, and then stop talking so we can listen.

Listen for the concerns behind the blunt or badly phrased question.  Listen for what they fear behind the sarcastic tone in their voice. Respond first by ensuring that you heard their question by summarizing and asking them to confirm that your summary is correct.  Then offer the  clarification or additional information they requested.  If the answer is unknown, say so and ask for their help in finding the best solution. Too many of us launch into a rebuttal which may add further anxiety rather than address their concern.

It takes courage to listen when Change impacts our comfort zones.  We stand a greater chance of reducing the resistance when we communicate honestly and encourage the dialogue.

More on encouraging the conversations in the next blog.

What are your thoughts?

I Just Want a Job! – Part 1 of 6

Friday, November 5th, 2010

I just want a Job, not a &*!# Career!  The desperation is real and, unfortunately, clear. And its getting in a lot of folks’ way of getting that job. With so many people  looking for jobs, employers have more to choose from – basic supply and demand.

Why not just take any job? Because you’ll be job hunting again in a few months (if not weeks) because you hate the job. Or worse, they don’t want or need you any longer.  Either way, that doesn’t help your outlook one bit!

This series covers things I’ve heard from every age – new grad, retiree, those that have been laid off. Here is the first of several job search approaches that are major stumbling blocks:

– I only want to throw my resume at a company and hope it sticks.

Sure, posting your resume on job boards, and even specific-company job boards works for some, and it should be a part of your strategy.  But not your whole strategy. You need a strategy that keeps your eye on a target – not just any job, but THE job that you will want to stick with because you like the work, the people, location, opportunities, challenges and yes, the $ and benefits. This means you still keep your options open and reduce wasting time on jobs for which you are over/under qualified or on activities that don’t get you closer to your goal.  Focus.

Then you create your plan that keeps you actively looking for opportunities. These include not only job board websites, but also finding people who know who else you should talk with and find openings.

Next, talking to people about your job search…the right way and the wrong way.

Performance Review Time – Hearing feedback

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Posted September 04, 2009 09:02 AM Hide Post
Giving and receiving feedback are two different sets of behaviors. Many resources are available for giving feedback effectively. Yet there is little to help us prepare to receive and participate in these conversations, and not dread them. It’s hard enough for people to give feedback and many don’t do it very well. You can help them get better at it and relieve some of your own discomfort. Here are some tips for constructively receiving feedback and use it to be more successful in your work and relationships. The key is for both people to feel they have been heard and understood. Getting to agreement is another step.

Conversation killers:
• Defending yourself or actions may be a natural reaction, but does not allow you to understand the other person’s perspective. Everyone has their own lenses, and you don’t have to agree, but it helps to understand their perspective to respond effectively.
• Dismissing the feedback – If you are thinking, “They haven’t seen me in any other context,” or “They are seeing me through what they want me to be, not who I really am,” consider the source. Also consider how this same aspect might be seen by others.
• Blaming others – “It’s not my fault…” Accept that you were dependent on others, and consider how you approached them with your request for help and how you may have contributed to the failure.
• Rationalizing -“Yes but…” Justifying your behavior as an atypical response necessitated by a particular situation or series of events won’t help to prevent it from happening again. Recognize the situation and be aware when it may be likely to re-occur so you can handle it better.
• Disagreeing – Telling the person why they’re feedback is wrong will not work. A better approach is to ask for examples and suggestions.
• Interrupting or finishing the other person’s thoughts gives the impression that you don’t really want to hear what they have to say. It comes across as dismissive and rude, rather than expedient.
• Sulking, or withdrawing from the person giving the feedback afterward will not encourage them to work with you in the future. Although initially appealing, this is not constructive.
• Ruminating on Feedback – If the feedback is less than glowing avoid the temptation to re-enact the conversation to a friend as this only re-engages your emotions. Do talk about it with someone else, but make sure you’re emotionally detached first.

• Keep some perspective. If feedback relates to a specific instance or to one part of your life,
keep it in context. Now you know about it and you have the opportunity to do something about it.
• Evaluate the information before responding. Feedback is given through the other person’s
perspective. It may tell you more about the person saying it than it does about you. If you
don’t agree or understand, ask for an example.
• Make your choice how to use the information. Feedback can be a gift allowing you to grow and develop as a person, in a job or in a relationship. It is ultimately your choice how to act, or not, upon feedback received.
• Giving or receiving feedback can be an emotional roller-coaster if you let it be. Learn how to receive feedback gracefully, giving you the emotional head-space to learn and grow from the experience.

Our most frequent complaint in workplace surveys is “lack of communication.” When communication and feedback is offered, be ready to not just hear, but listen to understand their point of view. Only then can you decide your best response.

5 Ways to Make Your Way

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

In her “How to Deal” column, Lily Garcia lists 5 great ways to get ahead without going the management route.  Too many times when we do great work, we get “rewarded” by being promoted to supervisor or manager.  When dealing with the people aspects of managing we need a very different skill set in addition to how we manage the work. And it isn’t the right path for everyone.  Both individuals and organizations are developing non-linear career paths to best use our talents and interests.  Read Lily’s column: There Are Plenty of Ways to Shine, Even on the Bottom of the Totem Pole