CHANGE HURTS! 11 Strategies for Easing the Pain of Change
When transitioning into the life of an entrepreneur and building a business and a team, painful changes become a way of life. Avoiding pain isn’t an option. It is not uncommon to find business owners who want to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the agony of their situations. In the end, the attempt to avoid pain just creates more problems and anguish. Pain is simply a symptom. It’s an uncomfortable reminder that some things simply cannot be ignored. We have all seen radical changes in our world including wars, natural disasters and financial meltdowns. During challenging times like these, it is more critical than ever for business owners to take risks to survive and even thrive. Stagnation–attempting to ignore the pain–begets extinction. Change requires hard work and an unwavering commitment to achieving your goals. That change begins with the owner of a business. It begins with you!
Here are some must guidelines to be following during the cycle of change.
1. Help your team members and colleagues make great choices.
Stop micro-managing people and start coaching them in the direction of making great choices which will help the business to drive through a change.
2. Start moving in the direction of innovation and stop the fighting that is going on inside your business about the direction you are heading.
Start building consensus with your team around a common goal for the future.
3. Get your business fully engaged in social networks.
A great deal is going on inside the world of social networking, and it is up to you to lead the charge on this front so that you send the message that global interactions will be the order of the day for your business. Through social networking, you can soften an angry customers or attract new talent into your team that you may have overlooked.
4. Stop “stepping one toe” into the water.
This approach never works during a change cycle. It is better to fully jump in, get really cold and wet and start learning from the mistakes and opportunities along the way. If you are “tip-toeing” into the water, you aren’t really dedicated…you are just messing around.
5. Stop “putting out fires” and “fixing problems with a Band-Aid”.
Look at a new product or service that will eliminate your problem permanently or at least diminish it to 20% of the time. This new product or service is going to require change, but you will breathe so much easier as the problem diminishes over time.
6. Get your team and your colleagues involved in your efforts.
People WANT to get involved in your change efforts. They WANT to help! The more your team members and colleagues are involved by a task such as commenting on a blog or forum, the easier the change will be. Take the feedback, listen to it closely, watch for patterns in complaints and cheers and make improvements along the way. Let the world know that “I hear you and I am working to make the change”.
7. Drop perfectionism.
Perfectionism just will not work during change. Change is messy, it is painful, it can be really scary. If you shoot for perfectionism during change, you will find yourself being very disappointed.
8. Hire a coach.
Having a coach by your side during a change can greatly help ease the pains of change.
9. Start following trends and finding ways to add them into your existing product or service offerings.
Trust me on this one thing: your competitors are following trends and new ways of operating their businesses during a change cycle. If you are ignoring the trends in your industry, you are giving your competitors a leg up on you.
10. Stop doing whatever is not working.
There are probably 50 things that are not working in your business right now. STOP DOING THEM! If something is not working, and you continue doing it, you are going to spiral down quickly.
11. Bring in new blood.
Start working to attract new team members who can think differently than your current culture dictates, who can infuse passion and excitement into your business and your team and who can help drive change.
The majority of humans are not really fond of change, especially when that change comes from the outside and creates disruptions in life. By avoiding the pain of change, you can cause harm to your team moral, productivity, communication, clarity and interpersonal relationships. The steps listed above and help you make change much easier for yourself and your team members