Leadership is about leading. Also, when you need to lead into change. Or is leadership nothing else than facilitating change? Whichever way you choose to look at leadership, leading change is one of your most challenging and, at the same time, essential tasks.
As an organization, as a leader, sustainable performance is key to build and maintain an excellent organization. Sustainable performance means coworkers do excellent work without falling into the traps of burnout or workaholism. Sustainable performance means your organization efficiently and effectively provides quality products and services, is blessed with low absenteeism and low staff-turnover. All of this is good for the bottom line.
Colleagues need to feel free to tell each other what they observe and from their expertise make critical comments, without chopping heads off or having their own heads chopped off. Safety also lays the basis for positive relations with one another. So how do you create safety?
Without communication, no organization. An organization’s achievements are directly and indirectly influenced by interpersonal communication. This is true in all three directions: top-down, horizontally, and bottom-up. If you want an excellent organization, you will need excellent communication and, by extension, excellent interpersonal communication. But why? And what do you need to do to implement it?
If you truly understand resistance, you seldom need to deal with it: You manage its cause before it even manifests itself!
The leader understands the source of resistance and deals with it adequately. Some typical sources are:
One of the most powerful theories on how to motivate people on the work-floor is Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory. In my post ‘Effective Communication Is About Understanding Emotion’ I dealt with the idea of Observational Listening and how that way of listening focuses on emotions people are currently experiencing. These two concepts together make a powerful combination in which motivation takes current emotions into account.
Imagine a world in which you wouldn’t experience any emotion whatsoever. What would your life look like? Drab? No, it wouldn’t be drab, as that’s an emotion. Nor boring, peaceful or any other state of mind which implies an emotion is being experienced. This means, therefore, that emotions are necessary for you to be able to experience anything at all. It goes a step further: Emotions are adaptive, they increase your chances for survival. Take fear, for example. If you didn’t ever get scared, you wouldn’t be aware of danger and would do silly things, like not jumping out the way when a car comes barreling down the road towards you. Emotions tell you what is important, what needs your attention and what action is required. Only when something is important enough does it capture your attention, this all thanks to the emotion that brings it to the forefront for you. And you only learn something when it is important enough to be able to react appropriately to such a given situation. In other words, emotion not only tells you what is important, it also is the motor for your learning. Emotions are primary. Emotions motivate.