When it comes to change, the negative is exactly where most people tend to focus unless you help them focus on something else. Actively directing their focus is exactly the job of leadership.
The best way to begin turning the sour lemons of change into sweet lemonade is with a four-step process that creates awareness.
1. The moment you recognize a change is approaching, start documenting reasons why it’s happening.
2. Identify all problems with the existing situation.
3. Then list key benefits of the coming change.
4. Now tell everybody!
One of the subtler yet potent benefits of using this awareness approach is related to how change is perceived. Instead of grumbling about the inconvenience of change forced upon them, staff, participating in the process, is better prepared to embrace it.
When change is forced it can blindside operations. Using this process, resistance dissolves and acceptance becomes the norm. Attitude often takes a 180-degree turn from negative to positive and launches a mindset of continuous improvement.
By focusing on the first three processes above, the initial negative reactions to change will be softened and a more positive state of mind will emerge.
Given the inevitability of change, it’s never too early to start nurturing a culture that accepts change. Developing an appreciation for change will pay dividends throughout your organization and your life.