When reading Bringing Out the Best in People I was really intrigued by the chapter about allowing storms to come in leading people. I had always thought that it would be better to just keep the calm, but when reading this section it helped me realize the importance of having these storms because this is often where the best ideas come from and where people often more freely speak their minds.
I most often encounter storms during times of change. Whether its introducing a new product, having a new manager put into place, or simply a shift in the members of a team, teams seem to bring up issues and or concerns during these changes. I have found that the best way to manage these changes is to listen, ask the team what they would want to do to change it and give them control of making those changes.
Listening is first and foremost. If you aren’t willing to listen to a team member or a customer and what their concerns are, you will not be successful. Their needs need to be important to the leader in order for the team and or customers to be on board with the changes. By simply listening to what they have to say, you will find that the trust level increases and the change will go smoother.
Asking the people affected by the change how they would do it different, or what they don’t think is working is another important step. The change, while it may be unavoidable, may be something that can be modified, revisited or adapted depending on individual needs. Every person operates differently and has different thoughts and opinions, so their involvement is huge. The ideas they bring to the table may be better than the ones you had in the first place, and being open to them will really help improve communication and future changes as well.
Finally, I have found it best to give the overall picture of what we are trying to accomplish, and then allowing each team to make the decision on how they implement the change within their location. As long as we get to the end result that is desired by the company, I think that each group should be able to work toward the goal in the way that works best for them.
While change is inevitable and we all have to go through it, there are storms that come with this change and these storms will often bring about the best ideas for going forward.\
photo credit –National Geographic