10 Ways To Get People To Change

10 Ways To Get People to Change was the title of a recent HBR article. Research consistently shows that change initiative have a dismal track record. In fact, if you executed well on your change initiatives 3 times out of 10, you’d be in the top 30%! Why is change so difficult, and why do change initiatives fail? The HBR article just referenced has some excellent tips on impacting people individually, and here are some of my own that can make it easier:

  1. Listen first: If it’s a change initiative impacting the business, ensure as much as possible that you’re listening to people’s concerns and addressing them as best possible. If you are the change initiator, you are likely enthused about the change (unless it’s a massive downsizing or something similar; in this case, if you’re enthused, you’ve got a real mean streak in you!); others aren’t so likely to be nearly as enthused, but more likely will immediately have questions and concerns that you might not even consider.
  2. Win the hearts and minds: don’t think of the change you want to have happen as a logical equation. If it were just a matter of logic, then explaining things logically would get the change to happen. Most often, you need to engaging people on an emotional level with your words, and your ears. Again, listening and addressing concerns as best possible is key.
  3. Believability: If you’ve got a poor track record with your employees, it’s going to be harder for you to get them to embrace the change you want to happen. If you are not credible i.e. you’ve not followed through previously on commitments, you have abandoned other strategies previously, or in some way are not entirely trustworthy, you’ve got a longer road ahead to be considered credible
  4. Transparency: Don’t dole out bits of information about the change you want to implement. This will kill trust and increase stress levels. Be as transparent as you can be, and don’t be concerned about over-communicating, as this rarely is the issue.
  5. It’s always about the behavior: In The Heart of Change, John Kotter and Dan Cohen relate the results of a study they did with Deloitte. Over 130 companies were seen in the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa, and they found that managers, in most change initiatives, initially focused on things like culture, structure, systems, or strategy. They learned that, in these companies, the most important issue was missed. They said it is always about,“…changing the behavior of people, and behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to peoples’ feelings. ……In highly successful change efforts, people always find ways to help others see the problems or solutions in ways that influence emotions, not just thought.”

There is further information available on making change happen and getting more out of your own performance, your business, and achieving your goals and top priorities faster with greater success  in previous blog articles. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter at the bottom of  my homepage, which aims to help make you and your business better, stronger, and faster, producing consistent, superior results!

I’ve actually provided you with more than 10 ways to get people to change, so now you have been well armed!


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About Mike Craig

Mike’s clients say he has provided them with real value and helped increase individual and organizational productivity. His passion is providing real results to his clients, helping them achieve their goals faster and more consistently, improving business and personal results. Mike only works with individuals and organizations where he can add value.

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