“Change before you have to.” ~ Jack Welch “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” Benjamin Disraeli These are all sayings we’ve heard, but it seems few people really embrace change. So how can we address this within a team or a group? People may resist it, ignore it, talk around it, but rarely want to address is directly, much less embrace it. If you’re facing any type of change, consider introducing it subtly and simply, using a team meeting.
Consider a change in the time, the place or the space. Small changes will more than likely throw people off who are resistant to change, but may help in introducing change. Just a simple change in time may generate discussion. If changing the time is not feasible, schedule to meet in a different space. Take the team to a coffee shop, another area in the building or outside. Be creative.
If introducing a new venue is not an option, change the area. Move the table out of the room. This removes the physical barrier between the team members and also addresses the blackberry bobs, the iphone inclines, and the droid drops that seem to permeate so many meetings. Eliminating the table can also naturally open up the team. If you cannot remove the table, change the seating in some way. Sit in a different seat. Encourage others to move to a different spot.
A simple change in the meeting can generate a discussion surrounding change. Be prepared though, as this small difference may in itself produce resistance. How your team members respond, may help you gauge their attitude toward change. If a person complains, they may have difficulty with change. If a person seems excited about the change, they may embrace and actually thrive on change. If a person seems non-ruffled yet accepting, they may be someone who adapts well to change, and who in turn can help others feel calm about it.
As the leader, use this simple tool to generate discussion about a change that may have already occurred or about a future change. Use it more than once. Making small changes on a regular basis may help your team make the necessary adjustments more seamlessly when facing larger changes. Equally important, be aware of your own attitude toward change, as this may greatly affect the team’s attitude toward change.
Finally, if the change seems too much for you to tackle on your own, enlist the assistance of outside support. Canvas Creek Team Building helps teams address difficult and challenging issues, including change. Free consultation and team evaluation available. www.canvascreekteambuilding.com