Change. Resilience. Resilience. Change. Say it how you like, these are two words with power – even more so post-lockdown, when the ability to sustain truly flexible teams will determine which businesses thrive, and which merely survive.
But how your organisation harnesses that power depends on how your leaders – and, through them, your people – choose to see change. As a loss, a disruption, to ‘get through’? Or an opportunity to advance with confidence and ensure your business grows?
Wilson Learning’s strategic development expert, David Yesford reveals three vital steps that help organisations build resilience capability by sharing his experience of success when leaders first learn to manage change for themselves. Once mastered, they can effectively mentor and support others through change.
Step 1: Recognise your own loss – and accept it
We’re all different: some of us see change as an opportunity, others perceive it as a loss – of status, identity, purpose. While it’s natural to think ‘What does this mean for me?’, individually our self-talk will vary, as shown by what Wilson Learning calls the Four Dis’s.
Disorientation (‘Where do I fit in?’); Disenchantment (‘Isn’t it awful?’); Disidentification (‘I used to be somebody’); and Disengagement (‘I will just quit and stay’).
To lead resiliently, first recognise and resolve your own ‘loss’. Then move forward in the spirit of opportunity, focusing your energy on enabling others to do the same.
Step 2: Intervene to help others
Just as leaders feel loss, so do their teams – but their ‘Dis’ may be different to yours. Individuals might not admit they’re struggling, so be proactive: learn to recognise and respond constructively to the clues.
Traditional change management is a step-by-step process to push people through change. Resilient leadership is more effective: it’s about proactively intervening to encourage others to move forward at their pace, recognising their ‘loss’ before choosing to commit their energy to the opportunity created by change.
Step 3: Lead the change process
How you lead through change matters to the success you collectively create. Don’t squander your energy reacting to the negatives, such as job insecurity. Instead, focus on positively creating the new story in the context of the real opportunities that lie ahead.
Resilience is understanding how to refocus your own – and your team’s – energy to maximise the potential for sustainable growth that change brings. It’s about gain, not loss. The seed of the future, springing up from the now.
Want to know more, including which leadership response will effectively support resilience for each of the Four Dis’s? Download the full article here, for free.