Ten Ways to Manage People through Change
by Simma Lieberman
Increasing intercultural awareness and diversity in an organization means creating change. Guest writer and diversity specialist Simma Lieberman helps individuals to successfully manage transitions and change.
The Top 10 Ways to Manage People through Change
1. Communicate your vision so that others will be inspired to join. Speak in terms of results and the steps to getting there. Paint the big picture before you hone in on the numerous changes the ideal big picture requires.
2. Learn to let go. Identify what is in your control to change and know how to let go of things you can't control.
3. Identify energy vampires and people who are energy igniters. You'll need a lot of oomph to lead a group through change. Energy is infectious, so surround yourself with energy and tap into its sources. Avoid the vampires and make time for the igniters.
4. Be able to inform others and communicate the change. Give relevant information at the right time in order to empower people and help them feel secure. Create newsletters of weekly updates to report progress. In the absence of information, rumors start.
5. Listen, listen, listen. Listen with your ears, eyes, mind and heart. Understand other people's thoughts, feelings and emotions. Listen to people's concerns without judging or making them wrong.
6. Respond. Different people react to change differently, based on their experiences and who they are. When you hear a concern, address it. When you sense a fear, speak to it. Respond in a helpful way to reactions to change by focusing on people's needs and concerns.
7. Don't make people wrong for their feelings. Acknowledge people's feelings and make it safe to express them.
8. Nurture yourself and others during times of change. Change can carry an unconscious stress on your body. Don't forget about it. Find outlets to give your mind and body a break. Find out what other people need to be nurtured. Don't be afraid to ask about their needs.
9. Help people find the support they need (once a week support groups during lunch, employee assistance programs).
10. Be patient. Change takes time and can try your patience. Recognize it can take a long time for the dust of change to settle and be patient both with the process and the people who are affected by it. Your demonstrated patience will give security and confidence to those around you.
Simma Lieberman works with people and organizations to create environments where people can do their best work. She specializes in diversity, gender communications, life-work balance and stress, and acquiring and retaining new customers. Simma is the co-author of Putting Diversity to Work with Culturosity’s founder Kate Berardo and George Simons of www.diversophy.com. Reach Simma at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website at www.simmalieberman.com.
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