by Ian Saunders, Antony Aitken, Ray Charlton and David Flatman

Change begins with you!

Whatever change takes place or is planned, people are involved – and they will have to change.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

And if you expect people to change, you must be prepared to do so yourself.

  • How does that feel?
  • Are you resisting?
  • How do you get to be ‘OK with change’?

It’s important to acknowledge that if you are going to get people involved and engaged, you need to be congruent. If you are afraid of the unknown or of losing control, then instead of communicating vision and purpose you will communicate fear.

Here are some questions to identify how you really feel about the change. Also think how others might answer them!

  1. What is your response to change / learning?
  2. How does your response impact on THIS change?
  3. What do you need to do now? Make a plan...

Note that you will need patience, persistence, feedback and reflection, and you also need to keep asking yourself these questions as the answers may change with time.

Here is another way to assess your reaction to change.

Once you have asked yourself the questions, what will you actually do to show that you are willing to change as you expect others to change? Will you, for example

  • Take more time to meet with people?
  • Always be on time for meetings, having been late in the past?
  • Get out of your office and visit people in their work place rather than have them come to you?
Points to remember
  • This is not a one-off task – be patient with yourself and others
  • The more senior you are, the more you need to be able to question assumptions
  • You may feel a loss of authority in the uncertainty of change – that’s normal
  • You must seek feedback for yourself, and also offer feedback to others