A Leader’s Prescription for Change Management

December 5, 2016


By Deborah Munhoz, M.S., Certified Physician Development Coach™

Why do most change efforts fail or only partially achieve their full potential?

You may think that time or money is the culprit, but instead, it is people.  The real problem is not paying adequate attention to the reality that all change is an emotional event. Moving from a current (known) situation to a desired future (unknown) situation creates chaos!

Two Elements for Successful Change                                                                                                 A successful change strategy addresses both technical and human elements. The GE Change Acceleration Process (CAP) model, developed in the early 1990s under former CEO Jack Welch, is used worldwide to account for both aspects of change.

The Effectiveness of any initiative (E) is equal to the Quality of the technical solution (Q) and the Acceptance (A) by those whose support is needed to implement it.

In other words, paying attention to the people side of the equation is as important to success as is the technical side!

Building Your Emotional Intelligence

Before you can manage others in a change initiative, first notice and manage the effect the situation has on you.  If you are feeling mad, sad, or scared, accept this and be aware of your unintended effects on others.

Next, consider what others are feeling and what has led to them feeling that way. Your ability to accurately sense other people’s emotions and understand how they are being affected by change, prepares you to interact constructively.

The Leader’s Role in Change

Managing relationships is much more than being friendly.  It’s all about your ability to get the best out of others. Your focus is on how to communicate and build bonds; to influence and inspire; and to help people change, grow, develop, and resolve conflict.  If people don’t see leadership actively involved and committed in the process, the initiative will be viewed as the “flavor of the month.”  

What You Can Do To Foster Change

Ask and listen.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and try to see the world from his or her perspective. Try to understand the pressures, responsibilities, demands, and expectations placed on others. Ask questions, saying that you’d like to know more about the situation and about how they feel. Listen thoughtfully to their responses. Not only will your questions give you information about what others need from you, but also your considerate questioning and listening will give others comfort.

Respond to what others need.

What motivates you may not be the same as what motivates other people. Change will not happen without individuals altering their thinking, beliefs, and behavior. Once you have listened, be prepared to provide or explore the topics that matter most to others.

Communicate to be understood.

Communication is a two-way street. Talk the language of others so that they really can hear you.  This may require that you modify your communication style.  For example, if the other people get straight to the point, limit your explanations to the bare necessities, or risk losing their attention!  In any case, check for feedback that your message was received.

A good solution is only one part of your change equation. Emotionally intelligent awareness and thoughtfully considered actions and execution improve the odds of success for any change initiative.

To participate in a free Teleclass for women leaders “3 KEYS FOR LEADING WELL” with Deborah Munhoz & Candice Barr join us on Sunday, December 11, 2016 3:00 - 4:00pm Eastern.  To register contact Deborah@deborahmunhoz.com; Bridgeline & PIN provided upon registration. To learn more about the upcoming Leadership & Resilience Retreat set in exotic colonial Queretaro, in February, 2017 providing 21 Category 1 CME credits, go to http://www.deborahmunhoz.com/MexicoRetreat . You may also contact retreat organizer Candice Barr at 541.968.2210 or visit the retreat website at www.medicalpeaceofmind.org.  A limited number of partial scholarships to this retreat may still be available.

Deborah C. Munhoz is a physician development coach, speaker, and trainer.  Her mission is to help create a world where women physicians are valued and appreciated for their contribution to leadership




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