Key leadership considerations to motivate and support teams to continue to embrace ongoing change

Succeeding as a People Leader in 2021 and beyond will be dependent on how you can inspire and motivate your team to continue to embrace and manage ongoing change.   Typically during times of organisational change, leaders draw on behaviours such as creating a vision and mission, being clear on goals, empowering, influencing, motivating, challenging as well as more task based behaviours such as collating efforts and drawing on systems (e.g. information systems).  Large scale change initiatives (particularly when they are a regular occurrence) can trigger varying emotional reactions in team members. Employees can find themselves becoming anxious about: changes to working arrangements and patterns, safety & risk issues, fear of failure, re-organisation, diminishment or expansion of their team and the subsequent impact on team dynamics.  Anxieties such as these, if not acknowledged and managed well by organisations can negatively impact the outcome of change.

So how can Leaders who are aware of such anxieties in their teams, support their people as well as ensuring the success of the change?

  • Creating an environment as a leader  (often referred to in coaching as a holding environment) in which employees feel secure enough to voice their concerns, can enable meaningful engagement during what can be often difficult conversations.
  • To create and sustain such environments, leaders will need to develop competence in identifying and managing their own emotions and anxieties to be better equipped to manage emotions evoked in others
  • Establishing a mindfulness practice (Siegel , 2011) can often be an effective way to attend to the emergence of Leaders anxiety
  • Engaging with a coach experienced with a psychodynamic model of coaching (Bell & Huffington, 2008) can be of great benefit to leaders in helping them develop self-awareness leading to a better understanding of what underpins their behaviour as leaders. Coaching can explore  how to tune into emotional cues and manage unhelpful patterns such as reactive or defensive approaches to people challenges in the workplace. Leaders engaged in coaching can also become more attuned to organisational dynamics, often a factor which influences the success/failure of  change implementation

To learn more about these approaches book a 30 minute mini-consultation on Leading an engaged team through change

Bell, J. & Huffington,  C (2008). Coaching for leadership development: A systems psychodynamic approach.  In K.T. James & J Collins (Eds.)  Leadership Learning. Palgrave. Macmillan.

Siegel, D.J. (2011). Mindsight: The new science of transformation. New York: Bantam