Leading Change with Positivity: A Path to Thrive Together

Have you ever noticed how strongly we and others can resist change and, in the process, miss out on wonderful possibilities? What if we can turn this around to adapt and to collaborate positively?

Our survival instincts tend to move us into the fear zone, which can be very limiting. It says, “if I am alive today, I will survive tomorrow only if everything stays the same.” But the fact is, we are changing, and so is the world we are living in. We need to adapt to be relevant and alive. Fortunately, we are not our emotions, we have emotions. Therefore, we can manage them, and then be more flexible and ride the waves of change.

Recently, I attended an enlightening webinar by Shirzad Chamaine, addressing leaders on this very topic. This is a fresh, new way to navigate change. I’m eager to share the practical wisdom and action steps he provided, so that those you lead and guide can thrive through change:

  1. Paint an Inspiring Collective Vision: People need to grasp the “bigger why” and the deeper purpose behind the change. This vision should also not just be about facts and figures; it should resonate emotionally, igniting excitement and motivation.
  2. Help Them See Their “Personal Why”: Most participants of change ask themselves “how is this going to impact me? Or “what’s in it for me?”. Encourage them to consider how the change will personally benefit them and how it fits into their personal value system. Sharing these insights with colleagues can foster a sense of unity and purpose.
  3. Give a Broad Roadmap: And we can even design the milestones with their collaboration. In doing so, we do not need to give too much detail, because the average brain does not do well with complexity and gets confused by it.
  4. Use the Flywheel Effect: Start with the first few steps. Then celebrate the victories. Use that energy to go for the next few steps. Celebrate again. And so on. That way we create and use positive energy and momentum to move forward.
  5. Fan the Flame: Some people are Early Adopters, others are Late Adopters, and some are Laggards. Focus your energy on the Early Adopters, just as you would fan a flame with the early coals that are burning. The others will soon catch on.
  6. Avoid Judging. Do Not critisise the Late Adopters and Laggards. Criticism seldom helps people to change. It normally creates resistance, defense mechanisms, and drains energy. Rather normalize the fact that some people struggle to change. Because it is true. And by normalising it, you are creating a safe place where people can learn and grow.
  7. Appreciate the Past, Prepare for the Future: Never attack the past or current state of affairs. Because the people who created it might still be around. And a lot of people migh love and honour them. Yes, “what got us here will not get us there”, as they say. But it was important to get us here. Embrace the journey forward with gratitude and readiness.

Positive minds and hearts cope so much better with life. May we guide ourselves and others in change and growth processes with lots of empathy and positivity, as well as wisdom and clarity.

Wishing you adventurous growth ahead!