One of the strategies for managing change that many leaders aren't as skilled at as they could be is the process of helping people to visualize a brighter future.
You've seen it before ... A change (big or small) is introduced ... an announcement is made by a leader who outlines what the change is and why it is being put into effect. He or she finishes the formal announcement and almost immediately all the talk turns to the problems, the challenges, the reasons why this is going to be difficult and/or won't work.
And the feeling (more often than not) in the room is either (worst case scenario) fear and anger or (best case scenario) bemusement and/or indifference.
Leaders should take their people on a journey
before getting into the mechanics of change
Do you know why this happens? Because leaders rush too quickly to the mechanics of the change, rather than taking people on a journey that engages them in the sense of what could be possible.
To get people excited about and engaged with the upcoming change, apply the tip shared by Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ... "Begin With the End in Mind".
When putting together any presentation (change related or not), most leaders have been brainwashed into using the dreaded "Powerpoint Bullet Point" style of writing down objectives and outcomes. This style of preparation will probably bind you to creating the norm in most organizations ... an announcement that is filled with a vague collection of concepts and ideas and is detached, stiff and has people hitting the richter meter of 'bored brainless', 'angry' or 'obstinate'.
Instead, as you are planning the announcement you will make to the team, visualize in a, vivid sensory rich way the specifics of how things will be different. Try telling a story about what the future holds ... as though it has already happened.
When you begin to tell the story -- rather than the bald facts -- your language becomes more compelling and people will begin to engage in the story - they will begin to see themselves in the future picture - not in the abstract and focused on all the problems or reasons why they should try to swerve this change.
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