How a Smart Leader Manages Change: 5 Tips

Things were going fine when suddenly the company hurls a new policy at its employees. Your teammates are upset about it, and so are you. However, as a leader, you cannot blame the company. So, you must be honest with your team while maintaining your authority as a representative of the company. In this article at the Muse, Kristi Hedges shares five tips about how you should manage change in a professional manner.

Being a Smart Leader

As a leader, you guide the team to reach its full potential. They look up to you as a matured professional who comes up with solutions even for the most difficult scenarios. However, there are times when your patience is tested. A major change is happening in the company. You must address all the doubts and give the teams hope when you yourself are not convinced. Here are a few ways you can handle the crisis like a pro.

1.    Address Your Emotions First

When things change, emotions overpower rational thinking. So, get into a room, vent out in front of a trusted colleague or have a talk with a friend over the phone. Take your time to process things and settle down with the inevitable. Give yourself space to let it sink in before you face the team and address their infinite questions.

2.    Identify Changes That You Can Relate To

Figure out the part of the change that seems logical to you, if not the whole of it. The reason behind making this effort is that you need to believe in the change to make it believable for others. As Professor Herminia Ibarra suggests in an article on, learn adaptive authenticity.

3.    Be Tactful

As a leader, you should be true to your words as well as look after the team morale and efficiency. If you do not like the change, share it truthfully. You should also find out the positive aspects of the situation. Convey the message the way they would agree to it. Your team trusts your instincts, so if they find you hopeful, they might see a silver lining.

4.    Address Team Emotions Head-On

Instead of ignoring the pent-up emotions in the team about the new change, address them. Do not let it grow to a point when they start resenting you. Empathize with them and allow them to put forward their opinions, doubts, and complaints. Accumulate all the issues and address them calmly and confidently. Let them know that their reactions are quite normal and guide them accordingly.

5.    Sync with People Who Can Easily Adapt to Change

Being the lone surfer can emotionally drain you. So, identify colleagues who find optimism even in the darkest of situations. They can inspire you and even help you come up with new ideas that could align the teams better.

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