Best practices for leading change: What not to do (part 2 of 2)

Best practices for leading change: What not to do (part 2 of 2)

2 min read

Here’s a follow up to last week’s look at what to do when it comes to leading a change-management effort.

Today we take a look at what not to do.

This list is a compilation of what we have seen have a negative impact on change-management efforts.

Don’t censor information or hold back until everything is known. Employees need all available information to make realistic assessments and effective plans. Share what information you do have, when you have it, even if the information you have is not complete.

Don’t express cynicism. Employees look to you as a role model and need your support and constructive guidance.

Don’t be unrealistically positive. Don’t be Pollyanna. Acknowledge when things are difficult.

Don’t isolate yourself. Employees need access to you to feel supported. Use employees’ cues to know when to become more involved and when to back off.

Don’t expect employees to all react the same way at the same time. Employees respond to the same situation differently (see Kubler-Ross grief cycle model, pages 17-19).

Don’t enable resistance.

Enabling is an action you take that protects the employee from the consequences of his/her actions and actually helps the employee to not move through the change process.

Examples of enabling include:

Covering up. Providing alibis, making excuses, or even doing someone’s work for them rather than confronting the issue that they are not meeting expectations.

Rationalizing. Developing reasons why the person’s behavior is understandable or acceptable.

Withdrawing/avoiding. Avoiding contact with the person whose behavior is problematic.

Blaming. Blaming yourself for the person’s continued challenging behavior or getting angry at the individual for not trying hard enough to improve their behavior or to get help.

Controlling. Taking responsibility for the person by significantly changing their environment or trying to minimize the impact by moving them to a less important job.

Threatening. Saying that you will take action (i.e. formal disciplinary action) if the employee doesn’t improve, but not following through.


Photo by Hakon Grimstad on Unsplash

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