The three things you need to create change

Change is hard.

Most people would rather see things stay exactly the same, even when they are shown a new way that benefits them. 

The Truth: Most people hate getting uncomfortable, but you need people to grow and growth only happens outside of the comfort zone.

Why is change so hard for people?

Look back at human history. Things stayed pretty much the same for a really long time. Now people are forced to adapt daily to new technologies and ways to be more effective in their jobs.

Different is scary. 

  • People want certainty. 
  • They want to feel in control. 
  • They want to know how things are going to play out. 

They want to be confident things are going to be okay.

🕶 Clarity creates confidence. 

The best way to create clarity is to keep things simple.

And nothing is better for keeping things simple than a… *dramatic drum roll*

Template! 

Here is the tl;dr version of this whole newsletter.

To create change, you need to provide three things:

  1. A clear next action
  2. A vision of the future
  3. Discomfort with the current state

🕶Steal this template to help you prepare for a future conversation with your team:

  1. The clear next action:
  2. The impact the action will have:
  3. Why staying the same is not going to work:

That’s it. That’s the secret sauce to create change with anyone. Now let’s get into the details…

So how do you do it?

As a young lad, I once had a boss who sat me down and in an 8 minute conversation gave me a list of 10 things I needed to do differently in my role.

I asked her if there was anything I should focus on first and she told me that it all needed to change. Like 99% of employees who get this kind of feedback, I went back to work and did everything exactly the same. Nothing changed.

Fun facts: 

  • People remember only 10% of what they hear.
  • Complicated plans lead to paralysis.

You will have MUCH better results when you learn to implement these 3 steps when creating change on your team.

1. A clear next step

As a young lad, I once had a boss who sat me down and in an 8 minute conversation gave me a list of 10 things I needed to do differently in my role.

I asked her if there was anything I should focus on first and she told me that it all needed to change. Like 99% of employees who get this kind of feedback, I went back to work and did everything exactly the same. Nothing changed.

Fun facts: 

  • People remember only 10% of what they hear.
  • Complicated plans lead to paralysis.

You will have MUCH better results when you learn to implement these 3 steps when creating change on your team.

2. A vision of the future

What direction does change point us in?

Ensuring your team understands the personal advantages they gain from the change is a big deal. Highlight not only the benefits but also the potential challenges they will avoid because of this change.

Your team is essentially asking, “How does this benefit me?”

Could it be:

  • Financial gain?
  • Elevation in status?
  • Securing their job position?
  • Prospects for career advancement?
  • The chance to be an exceptional team player?

Regardless of what it might be, help them see how embracing the change will help them personally..

3. Discomfort with the current state

People love their comfort zones, right? As a leader, you need them to step out of these zones.

It’s important to help them understand that sticking with the old ways is often more risky than embracing change.

Sometimes, you can do this by comparing the benefits of the new approach to the old one. But there might also be times when you need to get compliance before you earn full commitment.

  • Ensure your team understands why the change is beneficial. 
  • Be there to listen and provide support as they navigate through the process.
  • Make sure they realize that change isn’t an optional thing. 

Have you heard of the change formula previously? If so, how did you learn about it and how did you implement it into your management style? Next week we’ll dive into a few tips on giving effective feedback.

Jacob Espinoza is a leadership coach in Salem, Oregon. For more information visit JacobEspinoza.com.

Leave a Comment