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Many leaders wonder why change initiatives take twice as long as they should. The answer might be simpler than you think.
A large part depends on personality styles. Many managers and some supervisors are “drivers” — they have a dominant personality type.
There are pros and cons to this personality type. They tend to be decisive, but they also have a need for control and a need to check off tasks as done.
Their fear of not completing things tends to mean that they think tasks are done before they’re actually done.
Let me explain how this can translate into a negative when implementing change.
Many front line team members are “supporter” type personalities. They want to be consulted, but they’re reluctant to speak up.
A “driver” leader announces a big change in the plant and asks the front line team if there are any questions or concerns. Everyone kind of looks down and shakes their head. It’s not that they don’t have questions and concerns, but, because of their personality style, they don’t speak up.
The biggest mistake this leader could make is to assume everybody’s okay because nobody raised any concerns.
Instead, here are a few tips:
Many members of a front line team are passively resistant. That means the leader needs to help them surface their concerns so they can be addressed.
Take time to announce the change, and then follow up and talk to people, one on one or in small groups. Instead of assuming that there’s no resistance, assume that 80% of the people have some degree of resistance.
When a leader consults and involves their team in advance and builds their ideas into the solution, it’s going to help the team buy into the change more readily.
Celebrate momentum in your team.
Leaders need to recognize when change is moving forward and there’s success. Once people see they’re making progress toward the finish line, they’re going to stick with it longer and have more motivation to achieve it.
As you introduce change into the workforce, remember that your desire to have control needs to be balanced with the fact that the majority of your front line workers are going to need more reassurance.
How do you help your front line team embrace change? Let me know in the comments of this blog.
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