Change the Game: 3 Tips to Become a Better Leader
Updated: Dec 20, 2018
Allow me to set the stage. You have just successfully led your team through a challenging process change such as the implementation of a new electronic health record system. Just when you think the coast is clear, senior leadership announces there are plans to merge with a nearby hospital, which means you will be onboarding new physicians into your department and you are instructed to ensure that the team is trained and able to assist the influx of new patients and providers. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO??? Take a deep breath and follow the tips below.
1. Expect the Best and Prepare for the Worst
It may seem cliche but mental preparation is the best way to handle unanticipated changes in the workplace. 'Expecting the Best' means staying positive and realizing that worrying about an upcoming change will simply lead to you being ill-prepared for action. If you lead a team of employees, they often look to their manager or supervisor to level set their feelings about upcoming change. Be sure to remain calm, speak positively about the unknown and reassure the team that things will be okay. 'Preparing for the Worst' means asking senior leaders crucial questions about expected timelines, expectations and clarifying priorities. Additionally, managers should begin to have internal meetings with important stakeholders to plan in advance for upcoming changes. Proactivity is crucial in times of change and therefore staying abreast of all information will help you feel reassured and ready to support your team.
2. Rip up the Map
Every workplace change is different and while you should lean on past experiences with prior changes in the workplace, you cannot depend on one blueprint to survive change. It is important to stay flexible and open minded when expecting the unexpected.
3. Keep the Team Informed
The unknown is uncomfortable. Managers should practice situational transparency, which means they should share information that is relevant, useful and beneficial to assisting employees prepare or accept change. Employees assume that radio silence means that something terrible is going to happen. Managers can alleviate unnecessary employee stress by being honest and sincere and upcoming changes. Most importantly, managers will find that employees are more engaged and may volunteer to assist with the upcoming change. Don't be afraid of 'oversharing'. Give weekly updates, round on your employees and allow them to be curious.