Dear students, most of you will try to drive change in organizations you will work for. You will find that any change, however small or trivial it may be, will be met with the fiercest of resistance. The following is my takeaway from a recent experience I had at change management.
· To drive change, first be a part of the system. An outsider or a relative newcomer will face a lot of inertia.
· Be interested “in people” genuinely. Genuinely is the keyword. An organization is people working together. If you don’t care for them, you don’t care for the organization. Appreciate them, compliment them. I am sure you will find enough to compliment in any one if you choose to look for it.
· Don’t be judgmental. The tendency to be so it seems is natural. Even if you have judged someone, do not be week to let that judgment affect your behavior negatively. Even if someone is incompetent according to you, do your best not to make your judgment obvious. If you do that, you will loose audience of even the ones you consider competent.
· Try to be less “interesting”. The tendency to “seem” interesting expresses itself in everyone. In some cases the expression is crass, without basis and sticks out like a sore thumb. But in many cases talented people who “despise” attention seekers may do just that in more subtle ways. Simply put, if you want to be a real hero, don’t try to look like one!
· Don’t be violent. Violence is not only physical. If you are deriding someone in a meeting, you are indulging in what is called “emotional” violence. You know how we react when we see someone trying to physically attack us. We go defensive, don’t we? Now the same thing will happen when someone’s ego and self image is under attack. You need to be more cautious with the more experienced and senior people in your team.
· Learn to take criticism. Don’t react. Respond. Take special care if you have a tendency to get emotionally involved with work and have a tendency to “overreact”. Till today no one has been able to achieve “behavioral change” by force.
In the end, remember change needs leadership and leadership is always a derivative of “leadership of thoughts”. If you are negative and defensive most of the times, you will never be successful as a leader and if you do not lead, don’t expect to drive change.