Stepping into the shoes of “Change Agent” can be a daunting task. Many times individuals who crave change and have the desire to become a catalyst within their business have no idea where to start. They may wonder, is it about making others submit or is it about finding partners and collaborators who also are willing to be a catalyst for great change?
We sometimes wish that we had super powers—that with the wave of one’s arm negative attitudes would shift, bothersome naysayers would be removed, roadblocks hurdled over and saboteurs rounded up and deposited on another island far, far away. Everyone would be in possession of a pair of super x-ray glasses designed to help them “see the light” and then profits would soar! People would be happy! And everyone around you would cheer your name.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. Stepping into the shoes of a change agent actually means that you’re on the cusp of starting a movement. In order to do so, you can take the strong-arm approach, but often times it will not work for the long haul. I would suggest an alternative path, one of harnessing the power of other change agents, or change agents-in-the-making, to create partnerships by fostering a more collaborative approach.
“Where does one start?” you may ask.
The starting point always begins with you, your relationships to others and the quality of those relationships, especially under duress.
1) Rebuild Trust Among Your Peers and Colleagues.
People will work for, be loyal to and follow those they trust. This is a sales strategy that holds true in every avenue of business as well. Utilize it well and you’ll have support for whatever change you would like to carry out.
2) Change Your Own Perception.
Do you think it’s pointless, hopeless or futile? Or do you see the possibilities and opportunities that can benefit others? It’s important to embrace a perception of hope, because with that you become contagious!
3) Decide What Is Truly Important.
Would you rather be right or happy? This is a huge factor to consider. Would you be more inclined to be stubborn on a point, just because you didn’t want to give in, or would you refrain from being adversarial for the greater good of the project at hand and everyone involved? Hint: Being happier rather than right is far more productive, and people will respect you more for it.
4) Be Predictable.
Use the 3 C’s in everything you do. Be Clear about your vision or task at hand. Communicate often. And be Consistent in your behavior. No matter what occurs, people want to know that you are predictable. This also holds true for how you engage others, your personal code of ethics, and your belief in fair play. Colleagues want to know what you will and will not do and how you will and will not engage others on personal and professional levels. Being predictable helps others feel safe.
5) Reconsider Your Position.
People are often scrutinized for their desire to make change. Their motivation is in question. Reconsider your position. Are the changes you are suggesting for the betterment of all, or for a small group? When others see that you are in it for the betterment of others, rather just a few, you are more likely to create a movement others are willing to join. Position all communications in this manner and you’ll see how magical this one tip can become.
Becoming a change agent has more to do with leveraging your influence to bring a group of supporters onboard who believe in, want, and are happy to execute a specific plan than the actual change itself. People want to believe things can get better. They really want to believe that others have their best interests are heart. They want to know that you are willing to bend, but that you are predictable in your actions, words and deeds. Ultimately, they will follow those they trust.
About the Author
Maria Gamb served for 20-plus years as an executive in businesses valued at upwards of 100 million dollars. She is founder/CEO of NMS Communications, where she helps executives and entrepreneurs claim their ability to lead profitable, innovative and effective businesses. Maria is also the Amazon best selling author of Healing the Corporate World. She’s the host of the Value 2 Vision Retreat. Find out more about Maria Gamb at www.mariagamb.com