During a recent Social Distance Coaching session, we explored how people are dealing with all of the changes in their work environment, daily routine, and priorities. There was quite a range of experiences.
Some people are LOVING the ability to work from home, connect with family during the day, and create more time for themselves or for projects they haven’t had time to focus on. Others are missing the daily connection with colleagues and their typical routines. And still others are HATING not being able to leave the house or do the work that they want to do.
People approach change in different ways, and one approach is not better than the other. Recognizing your response style to change can help you take charge of the change instead of feeling helpless or frustrated.
What’s your change style?
According to CRR Global, there are three response styles to change.
- The leaper jumps for change. They embrace it and are excited about the potential. They love exploring possibilities and don’t mind if things aren’t perfect. They enjoy the challenge that change presents and are often early adopters. They can become restless if the change takes too long.
- The tradition holder is cautious about change. They appreciate things the way they are and don’t want to lose what’s good about what they have. They champion and protect the traditional ways things have been done in order to ensure that the change isn’t too hasty or far-reaching.
- The bridge builders sit back initially to see how the change unfolds. They aren’t resistant to change, but they are going to make sure things are thought through before embracing it fully. They will likely ask a lot of questions that will add value to the change process.
When organizations experience change, they benefit from having all three styles present. A team full of leapers will have little consistency and a team full of tradition holders might lack innovation. A variety of styles makes a team stronger! The key is to know how to leverage these differences.
How do you accept different styles?
Whether setting new goals, managing a large change initiative, or dealing with a global pandemic, recognizing and accepting different styles is beneficial for teams. Here are three simple steps you can do using your Thoughtfully Fit core.
- Pause and identify your style. Take time to discuss what everyone’s style is on the team. Often, just being aware of the different styles creates more empathy and a positive shift on the team.
- Think about how to engage with each style effectively. Discuss some questions: Given your style, what do you need throughout this process? What are you most concerned about? What is important to you as we deal with this change?
- Then Act intentionally. After gaining more awareness about your style and the style of others on your team, design how you want to proceed and act accordingly!
How do you work with different styles?
The next step after accepting different styles is to embrace them and maximize them for the greatest good of your team. This requires you to know how to work with the different styles. So here are a few quick ideas to start that process.
- Encourage leapers on your team to enthusiastically share their innovative ideas and vision for how to move forward with the new changes.
- Encourage bridge builders to research and reflect on the new changes and share what is needed to get everyone onboard and excited.
- Encourage tradition holders to watch closely to make sure that what is good and important isn’t thrown out or forgotten with the new changes.
Change is inevitable, but navigating it successfully – especially on a team – takes work. However, the work involved in having the conversations and being intentional about how to move forward makes the uncertainty of change a whole lot easier!
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