To be successful in 2015, embracing change and inspiring innovation are more important than ever before. To put your team on the right path, begin with a focus on the positive. Celebrate accomplishments they feel good about.
Here’s an activity that can help you get started and orient your next staff meeting in a positive direction. Ask participants to share one thing they feel is working well and aligns with your 2015 strategic focus. Allow them the latitude to mention something they’ve done, personally. Share an accomplishment by the team or a specific team member. Talk about an example of out-of-the-box thinking. Acknowledge someone who went the extra mile to complete a task or satisfy a customer. Point out techniques that helped a tough meeting to go well. Share a productivity tip that saved time or reduced the email burden. Offer acknowledgment for a job well done or express appreciation for the helping hand lent by a colleague. The positive energy this exercise generates will make the necessary risk taking innovation requires less threatening.
This year, as you collaborate with others to innovate and facilitate change when you find yourself frustrated by their behavior or feel your best efforts are met with resistance, don’t dig your heels in and debate. Instead of disagreeing and pushing against their “NO,” consider it, whether stated or demonstrated through their behavior, a call for conversation – an opportunity to dialogue in order to more fully understand all aspects of their perspective.
Adopt a mindset that says, “their point of view is valid, from their perspective. In order to support and influence them, I need to understand.” Ask questions like:
- What are your thoughts about [name the idea]?
- What concernsyou about [name the idea]?
- In what ways could [name the change] work for us?
- What opportunities and challenges do you imagine [name the idea or change] might create?
To get out of the way of change, you must be strategic, not stubborn. The more you know about others’ attractions and objections to new ideas and potential changes, the better able you’ll be to find win-win solutions that fuel change, innovation and growth.
These tips work one-on-one or in group meetings. When you consciously choose to focus on what’s working and approach different ideas with an open-mind, you clear the way for a new world of possibilities.