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Jesse Jacoby shares key steps for leaders to help their team accept and manage change.

In your role as a leader, you will likely encounter resistance to change at some point from one or more of your own team members. Resistance may come from a variety of sources:

An individual with a difficult personality

Someone anxious about impending change

A person who disagrees with your vision

Resistance is usually demonstrated in one of four ways, each with the potential to create roadblocks for you:

Lack of Communication – Leaving you out of the loop in terms of key information or not discussing issues openly

Lack of Support – Foot-dragging on key initiatives you try to implement

Counterproductive Criticism – Being overly critical of you and your ideas

Passive Aggressive Behavior – Agreeing to do something, but then not doing anything

Overt & Covert Resistance Action Steps

Resistance may be expressed directly (overt) or indirectly (covert). Overt resisters may be quite open with you or others about their discontent. Covert resisters, on the other hand, may behave in a passive-aggressive manner, agreeing with you verbally but participating half-heartedly or ineffectively with no real commitment. Although overt and covert resistance each present unique challenges, the best way to tackle either is to be prepared to encounter them. Be curious about their causes and direct in identifying them to the resister.

Here are a few practical steps you can take as a leader to address change resistance within your team:

Be alert to signs of resistance, and meet with the resister if it begins to create problems. Use active listening to gather information and gain an understanding of the employee’s perspective. Listening and showing that you understand a point of view do not mean you agree with a given behavior. Act as a “mirror” to the person, and point out your observations.

Without criticizing, identify the roadblocks you have observed.

Seek the individual’s perceptions of the situation.

Invite the resister to share any concerns. What would he or she like to see done differently?

Share your perspective and provide the individual with descriptive feedback about the impact of the behavior on the team and on you.

Define the positive behaviors you want to see, and be clear about your expectations.

Let the individual know that you want him/her to be part of the team and that you will value his/her contributions.

 

Key points include:

  • Signs of resistance
  • Defining positive behaviors
  • Understanding Resistance & Planning Your Response

Read the full article, How Leaders Can Manage Team Member Change Resistance, on EmergentConsultants.com.

Jesse Jacoby provides a post that explains why it is so difficult to communicate your vision of the corporate culture you would like to have, and what you can do to articulate the abstract.

Ask 100 managers how they define organizational culture, and you’ll probably get as many different definitions as possible. Even scholars cannot agree; and that means that your definition is as appropriate as anyone else’s. This makes the challenge, however, of creating the culture that you want particularly difficult, because it is almost impossible to hit a target that is ambiguous.

How can you describe something abstract in concrete terms?

How do you say, “This is what I want,” when there is no this to point to?

And how do you say, “I don’t want that,” when you cannot point to it either?

At best, you can only identify parts of instances or results that please or displease you.

Perhaps that is the wrong way, or at least the less helpful way, to look at it.

Before you can decide what culture, you want, you need to consider the elephant in the room. The elephant is that culture, no matter how you define it, is touchy-feely. It is all about the people in your organization and their collective attitudes, expectations, and behavior. And so, whatever you want must be thought of in terms of what they do; how they’ll act and react collectively.

The easiest way to decide what culture you want is to start with someone else’s definition, and then add to it according to your needs.

For example, organizational culture has been described as a kind of personality. When you think about it like that, then you can delineate between the one in your organization and the one in someone else’s. You may not be able to identify all the differences exactly, but at least it will give you a starting point.

 

Key points include:

  • How perceptions factor in
  • Understanding the thoughts-feelings connection
  • Working backwards

 

Read the full article, How to Create the Culture You Want, on the emergentconsultants.com.

 

 

Jesse Jacoby shares a post that illustrates the importance of story, and why the corporate story is the key to engaging employees.

We all love a good story, whether our preference is for fiction or nonfiction.

It doesn’t matter if you’re reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to the news, expanding your mind watching a TEDx talk or listening to a podcast. All these media use stories to communicate their messages.

Why?

One reason is because it makes the message more interesting. We may miss the importance of a fact if the information is presented in a boring way; but when it is woven into a story, it can reveal a message that we otherwise would have missed.

 The best storytellers make us feel that we are part of narrative. They make us laugh because of the circumstances or cry by getting us to experience the emotion that the characters do.

And it doesn’t matter if the characters are portrayed as human beings or animals, as George Orwell’s Animal Farm so aptly illustrates. Kids as well as adults identify with them because they recognize something of themselves in them, and often they desire to become more like them.

Another reason stories are told is because people will often take action as a result. It is why the authors of many non-fiction books create personas. They want their readers to be able to easily identify and personalize the principles that they describe.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • The power of ‘why’
  • Motivating behaviour
  • Organizational stories

 

Read the full article, Why Stories Matter to Your Organization, on EmergentConsultants.com.

 

 

Jesse Jacoby shares a timeless post that explains how leaders can overcome overt and covert resistance to change. 

 

In your role as a leader, you will likely encounter resistance to change at some point from one or more of your own team members. Resistance may come from a variety of sources:

  • An individual with a difficult personality
  • Someone anxious about impending change
  • A person who disagrees with your vision

Resistance is usually demonstrated in one of four ways, each with the potential to create roadblocks for you:

  • Lack of Communication – Leaving you out of the loop in terms of key information or not discussing issues openly
  • Lack of Support – Foot-dragging on key initiatives you try to implement
  • Counterproductive Criticism – Being overly critical of you and your ideas
  • Passive Aggressive Behavior – Agreeing to do something, but then not doing anything

The steps to overcome resistance include:

  • Being alert to the signs of resistance
  • How to gain an understanding of the employee’s perspective
  • Defining  the positive behaviors you want to see, and be clear about your expectations
  • What to do if the resistance becomes habitual

 

Read the full article, How Leaders Can Manage Team Member Change Resistance, on the Emergent Journal website. 

 

 

Jesse Jacoby taps into a common pain point in today’s business operations — the vague or misunderstood email — and provides an easy solution to overcome the problem. 

Connecting with coworkers, clients and customers has never been easier. Gone are the days when we had to drive across town to chat with someone in a different office. When we run into a challenge or have a question regarding our work, we have a plethora of communication tools at our fingertips: email, text, instant messaging, and the list goes on.

Yet, how many times have you received an email response or stared at a text feeling more frustrated and confused than when you started. In today’s fast paced world of electronic exchange, messages can easily be misinterpreted, and emotions can escalate quickly as a result. A curt interaction, even when softened with a cheerful emoticon, can really strike a nerve. Now, not only do you still have that lingering challenge to face or question to answer, you also have to manage the mounting frustration and annoyance attached to it.

 

Read the full article, Assume Positive Intent, in the Emergent Journal.

 

Jesse Jacoby identifies a few of the core issues that can arise when bringing a new manager into the workplace.

Good things are possible when new managerial blood is brought into an organization. For one thing, there are often fresh ideas. You know yourself how easy it is to get so close to something that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You can’t see a solution that’s obvious to someone from the outside. And, of course, if you don’t grow, then the status quo will feel normal. It will be the thing that you sub-consciously pursue. If you were asked point blank if this was your goal, then you’d deny it outright; nevertheless, it wouldn’t change the fact that you were in a rut and loving it.

 

This article covers:

-Changes to an organization’s culture, or that of a department or unit

-The dangers of bringing in new blood

-Recognising and dealing with repercussions

 

Read the full article, A Managerial Transfusion: The Danger of New Bloodon the Emergent Consultant’s website.