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Engaging Your Team Throughout Change

Today, leading your team through change is pretty much a standard and everyday aspect of leadership.  Sometimes it’s easy, and some days it’s just hard work.  The times when it seems the most difficult often come down to how we see the change, and choose to deal with it. In this article we share some ideas for how you can take some of the pressure off your shoulders when leading your team through change.

Recalibrating requires Re-storming. 

Are you recalibrating the way your team works?  Then don’t for one minute assume that you will remain in the Performing stage of team development.  You will need to regress, even if it’s just for a bit, to the stage of Storming as the team members work out what it means to be working together in whatever new format you are trialling.  How you work together in a hybrid or fully face to face format will be different to remote.  Transitioning will require some re-establishing of the unspoken team rules and rituals.  Leading from a position of Performing when the team is re-Storming will be a headache – as much for you as it will be the team.  It’s ok to let the team know they are re-Storming.  In fact, that may just take the pressure off their shoulders as much as your own.  

Building Engagement Takes Time. 

As a leader we like the idea that we have an engaged team.  Of course we want this; we know the lift we get in performance when we have emotional engagement and not just functional engagement.  But we can become unstuck when we push hard for engagement in the team without acknowledging that it takes time…and that not everyone will be ready…even if you are.  And that’s ok.  Make your peace with this and you will feel the weight of pressure lift off your shoulders.  Sometimes the biggest block to building engagement comes when we are forcing something that just isn’t ready to happen.

Don’t Mistake Questions for Resistance in Times of Change. 

If we are leading change we want it to work right? We want our people on board, and we want to get the new ways of working embedded.  And things can be on track…but then there’s the question from left field that threatens to derail the process.  Or, there could be questions right from the word go…questioning why, questioning how, questioning the legitimacy of the change.  But being the creatures that we are, we have the power of choice.  We can choose to see the questions as blockers and coming from a place of resistance. Or we can choose to see them coming from a place of curiosity or wanting to make sense of the change in the context of their world.  Most times it’s actually the latter that’s playing out. It’s not resistance.  It’s about safety. Assurance. Wanting to know (why, how, who etc…).  Maybe it’s us who needs to reframe how we ‘hear’ the question.

Ponte Valle Insight: Engaging Your Team Throughout Change

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