Posts Tagged ‘change’

Leadership in Times of Change

Friday, May 29th, 2020

You may have heard the old saying, “Everyone is for change as long as they don’t have to make a change!”  It’s so true.  For many of us a change, no matter how small, can be difficult, overwhelming and stressful.  

The #1 question I am receiving from business leaders and owners I consult to is,  “What can I do to minimize the stress my team members are feeling due to changes we need to make?”  

It’s mission-critical to take the time and create a plan to help employees navigate both personal and professional change. In business, our employees’ reaction to change can affect their job satisfaction, overall productivity and, ultimately, the company’s bottom-line results.  How do we, as leaders, help team members move forward on the path of change to create, embrace and thrive in their new reality? 

Brain research holds the key to the answer.  When a change happens, no matter how small, our brains are wired to go through a period of grief.  Even if we experience a happy change, such as a wedding or a job promotion, we feel a sense of loss.  Rightly so, something is ending and something new is beginning.  Our old way of being, our normal, is now gone and we find ourselves having to create a new normal.  This can be difficult because our brains want us to go back to the old way and, in the process, we resist creating and embracing the new way.  

Being in this “in-between” time, we know we can’t go back to the way things “used to be”.  But, we are resisting moving forward, too. We are in transition. This can lead to being stuck in fear, anxiety, despair and chaos.  We find ourselves thinking the worst and wondering “When will life get back to normal again?”  And the truth is that its up to us to create and embrace our new normal, for ourselves and also for those that we lead, to positively impact morale and profits.  

Imagine yourself driving the same way to work at the same time everyday for years. This is your status quo, your “normal”.   One day you see a sink hole in the middle of the road blocking your way!  This puts you in a tailspin! Not only will you have to find another route to get to work, but you will also be late!! You might feel irritated, annoyed, perhaps confused and even angry that this sink hole has now messed up your morning commute, your attitude and your life!  Reacting to that sink hole in this way is what a change might feel like.  You find yourself stuck in fear, anxiety and chaos as you scramble around to backtrack and find a new way to get to work. 

As leaders and founders, we instinctively understand that we don’t want our teams to be operating from fear and chaos.  We know that if they are in this anxious place inside their heads, they won’t be productive or happy employees.  What are some ways we can better lead through this challenge called change?

I’m sharing these three strategies a leader can use to help people embrace the new way of doing things and support them in creating their new post-change realities. 

  1. Listen, alleviate fear and provide resources: Do your employees feel heard when they talk with you or are your preoccupied and disengaged in discussions with them?  When we put aside distractions and really listen to what people are afraid of, we can help calm their fears about the changes we are asking them to make.  Offer resources such as the phone number to your companies Employee Assistance Program or links to websites where they may find the support they need to move through the fear and grief a change can ignite. 
  2. A Long Lead Time: Some employees can be early adapters and “change agents”.  If you mention the word “change” they move full speed ahead.  Yet, many are “reluctant changers”.    They see no reason for doing anything differently-ever!  Our reluctant changers will benefit from knowing about any proposed change well in advance of when it will take affect.  This will give them time to think through the change, ask questions and navigate it for a better end-game result.  
  3. Break Down the Process: If a person is reluctant to make a change they could be anxious or fearful without being aware of the reason for their resistance.  If you map out the change with realistic and honest timelines, and help the reluctant person understand the process step-by-step, they will feel a greater sense of clarity and control.  This will help the change move forward more smoothly overall. 

Anticipating and understanding our role in managing the change process is the foundational skill of solid leadership.  Using these three strategies will help minimize employee fear and lead to better results for all concerned-the employees, the company and the clients. 

In this brief article, I’ve just touched on three of the many strategies that can be employed to lead and manage through change.  Visit to schedule a complimentary strategy call with me and I’ll help you discover new solutions to navigate the challenges of change in your organization.  

Time for a Reboot?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock…to ask ourselves the tough questions about what we wanted to accomplish in all areas of our work and personal lives this year, called our “ideal state”, and to authentically look at what we really did achieve, our “current state”.  The end of the year is a great time to discern if there are any gaps between our ideal state and our current state.  If so, it may be time for a reboot.

A reboot begins with honest and careful scrutiny of what is currently working for you and what is not moving the needle to propel you toward your goals.  Do any of these sound familiar: perhaps it’s an unhelpful habit, such as procrastination, that is getting in your way?  Maybe you have bitten off more than you can chew and have gotten involved in too many meetings?  This can cause hectic rushing and an overwhelming feeling that works against clarity and poise.  Or maybe you are stuck in your comfort zone – doing the same things you have always done?  If so, you are probably getting the same results you have always gotten.  Where ever you’re stuck, a reboot can help you get unstuck.

To help you move to your “ideal state’, it might be time to revisit your personal marketing plan to determine the perceptions that others have of you after they interact with you.  This could include many points of contact people have with you, from your voice message and the way that you answer the phone, to the clothes you choose to wear, to the photo you have on your social media accounts.  Every interaction that another person has with you is the opportunity to create a positive impression and enhance your personal branding.

Success expert Stephen Covey believes that with any project we should “Begin with the end in mind”.  A personal reboot should be no different.  As I took stock of my goals at the end of last year, and turned an eye toward celebrating my 15th year of business this year,  I determined that it was time to do a deep dive into updating my own business and executive presence plan.  There was no urgency- I was reaching my goals.  I believed I could achieve more if I focused on aligning my website,, and marketing materials with my long-established branding voice.  The goal being exuding the positives that I am known for – dynamic and inspirational professionalism, expertise and integrity.  Let the reboot begin!

Reboots feel good.  Like the feeling you get when  you have cleaned out a closet or organized the files in your desk.  Sure, all worthwhile endeavors do take a bit of time and effort, but at you end you get that great feeling of being organized, aligned and free of clutter.  Here is my secret sauce for a successful reboot.

Step One: Our first order of business is to determine the three to five authentic words that we want others to use to describe us after they have had an experience with us.  This is called our “personal marketing voice”.  Sometimes it is easier to determine how you want to be described if you also think about how you do not want to be described.  For example: Rita Perea Leadership Coaching and Consulting IS solid, dynamic, inspirational, experienced, high-integrity and professional.  It IS NOT fly-by-night, weak or gimmicky.  You get the idea here.  Contrast is a great informant.

Step Two: Use these words as a lens to look through when making daily choices.  If I have a business meeting to attend and I want people who interact with me at that meeting to describe me as solid, dynamic, inspirational, experienced, high-integrity and professional, then I am going to dress and act in a manner that is congruent with those descriptive words in my personal marketing voice.  Note to self:  if your branding voice is authentic then you will be most comfortable looking like and acting like the descriptive words you have chosen to represent you.

Step Three: The next step of the reboot is the opportunity to integrate every experience point with our personal branding voice to spur others to have a positive perception and to take action.  It is time to take our list of descriptive words and look at every activity we participate in through the lens of those words.  At the end of each interaction we want to ask ourselves “How would that person describe me to others?”  In addition to our website and social media interactions, as mentioned above, these interactions include:

•   Community Involvement

•   Networking opportunities

•   Manners/ etiquette

•   Interactions with co-workers

•   Interactions with clients

•   Making cold calls

•   Making warm calls

•   Speaking in front of a group

•   Involvement in professional organizations/associations

Step Four: Just as we reboot our computer each time we turn it on, every interaction with another person gives us the opportunity to be an honest and reflective practitioner.  We can continually reflect and refine by asking ourselves “How did that go?”;  “What went well?”;  “What did not go so well?”; and “What could I do differently next time to truly live my personal branding voice?”

While a reboot takes honesty, time, effort, and perhaps some monetary resources, your return on investment can be exponential.  You will feel aligned, squeaky clean, shiny and brand new.  What a wonderful way to begin a new year.  Here’s to your success in 2016!

®All rights reserved by Rita Perea Leadership Coaching and Consulting, 2016

Put in the effort and reap the rewards!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

“Nothing will work unless you do.”
– Maya Angelou

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