Prepare the Horse: Guiding Your Team Through Change


Change is hard. It’s a challenge. That’s why so many people struggle with it. As humans, we all get stuck in ruts of comfort and resist change with all our might. This is especially true when the change feels big and scary, or you feel like things are “good enough” as is. Why change anything if it’s not broken, right?

However, “good” has the potential to be “great” when you are willing to embrace change and roll with the punches, so to speak. There’s no getting around to grow and evolve in life, and in business—change is a requirement. Constant course corrections are necessary to reach your full potential and help your business and team reach success.

In the midst of the current global crisis, many businesses have been forced to modify how they do things in order to simply stay afloat and survive. Those that have been unable or unwilling to make changes are sadly sinking fast and likely will not survive this new operating paradigm many find themselves in.

Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be you! Good leadership begets good teams, so all change starts with you. Set the example, and then do all within your power to help your team navigate the waters of change alongside you.

Helping Your Team Navigate Change

Remember, change is hard but often necessary. Communicate that necessity to your team, so they are on the same page as you start implementing new things.

Communicate Like a Boss—Literally

You are, in fact, the boss. Communicate with your team often, and keep those lines open and welcoming so that your team can come to you with any questions or concerns without feeling as though they are putting you out or risking their jobs. Just like any other relationship, communication is one of the pillars of success. Performance may suffer in employees who feel they cannot come to you and feel as though they have to muddle along and figure something out on their own. Practice an open-door policy and reassure your team that everyone is in new territory and they are not alone.

Foster Trust

Good communication helps foster trust in your team. Other ways to help foster trust include:

  • Keeping everyone accountable, including yourself. Don’t expect your employees to hold to a standard that you yourself do not.
  • Keeping goals realistic. There’s a fine line between too much responsibility and too little. You don’t want your team to feel overloaded, but you also don’t want them to feel unchallenged in their role. Challenges perpetuate growth, so create opportunities that challenge them and give them the freedom to fail, learn, and grow.
  • Keep the micromanaging to a minimum. Yes, your business is your baby. But if you’ve hired the right team, it’s “their” baby too. Trust them to do the jobs you’ve hired them to do, with minimal interference on your part.
  • Keep your dealings with your team consistent, honest, and direct, and never gossip. Gossip between a boss and employee erodes trust just as much as inconsistency and dishonesty do, and both are easily spotted.

Prepare the Horse

It’s an old cliche, but sometimes the best you can do is prepare the horse for battle and then trust the battle will be won. In this case, the battle is implementing change. So, it’s important to prepare your team in advance for the changes that will be rolling out soon, so they aren’t blindsided. A team that is prepared beforehand will know to expect challenges and can be ready to face them head-on, together with you.

Change is a-comin’ whether you’re ready for it or not. That’s just how life works. It’s much better to be prepared for it than to resist it and be left floundering.

We at StellaPop specialize in thinking strategically and working collaboratively to help our clients successfully navigate new territory with panache. Contact us today for a consult—no pressure, no BS, just growth.

See Also:

2021 Business Management Trends CEOs Can Implement in 15 Minutes

Improving Employee Satisfaction: How to Uncover Pain Points

Virtual Water Cooler Talk: Foster a Thriving Remote Community

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