Change is inevitable for most organizations—especially in today’s dynamic business environment.
For individuals, change may result in new responsibilities, new roles, or new leaders. When coaching clients through organizational change, we see many concerns surface due to people’s feelings of uncertainty as well as the added stress brought about by the change process.
So what if your company is going through a period of change and you don’t have the benefit of a coach? The key is to figure out what is in your control. This usually begins by examining your thoughts and concerns about the change.
In our Leading People Through Change program at The Ken Blanchard Companies, we teach leaders that people go through six predictable stages of concern when they experience change. You can use these stages of concern to help identify and begin to address anxious thoughts you may be experiencing.
- Information Concerns. You need to understand what’s going on. What is this change all about? Why is it needed?
- Personal Concerns. You need to know how the change will affect you as an individual. What’s in it for me (WIIFM)? How will this change impact me personally?
- Implementation Concerns. You want to know the details involved in implementing the change. What do I do first? How long will this process take?
- Impact Concerns. You want to evaluate the benefit of the change. Is it worth it? Is the change going to make a difference?
- Collaboration Concerns. Once you have bought into the change, you want to know how to get others onboard. Who else should be involved? How do we all work together?
- Refinement Concerns. You see the need to continually improve. How can we keep making the change better?
Experiencing change can be unsettling for people. If change is happening in your organization, how are your thoughts serving you? Take control of what you can. Sorting out your feelings, determining the stage of concern you are in, and seeking out information that addresses your concerns will help you shift your attitude so that you are open to embrace change.
About the Author
Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.