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Getting Teams to Align During Change

Sep 10, 2020 | 9m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Effective strategies to communicate and navigate change in the workplace
  • Tips to create the foundations of a diverse work environment
  • How to bridge cultural differences when integrating teams


Communication is Key

Change isn’t comfortable but it’s necessary for a company’s evolution. Changes in a company can look like a merger, acquisition, or even a round of layoffs. In my experience, there are a few useful steps that senior managers can take to ease the process and actually make it effective — even beneficial — for the company. Communication is instrumental during times of change. Anxiety and discomfort in the workplace is a natural byproduct of change, so remaining transparent in your communication to your team in these times is key.

Begin by explaining the rationale behind the changes. Rather than glossing over the changes or pretending that it is easy, show your employees that you truly care about tiding them through the period. Acknowledging their concerns and addressing them honestly and head-on can help diminish any of their fears and establish the change as something that’s necessary and crucial for the company.

Your communication should also be constant — keep your team in the loop right from the start. Ensuring a regular line of communication throughout the entire process will help your employees feel more comfortable in the midst of change, quell any fears or negative feelings, and make the whole process easier to navigate.

Emotions at Work: Boon or Bane?

Striking that delicate balance between logic and emotion at work is a tricky, but important, skill. In business, we’re taught that logic is king. However, relying on pure business logic solely doesn’t work well, especially when navigating through a challenging period. No matter how hard they try, people rarely leave their emotions out of situations, even when it comes to business decisions. Don’t dismiss emotions, because you run the risk of sidelining issues that might blow up to become larger problems.

Instead, listen to your employees to check in on how they're feeling and if it might affect their work. Empathy is one of the most important qualities in leadership, in my opinion. It’s far more effective to lean in to both your logic and emotion, but in the right balance, of course. When you’re solely motivated by emotions, you won’t be an effective communicator or leader, and conversely so.

Personally, I am more of a logical person, so I have to make a concerted effort to be more cognizant of emotions. Additionally, I usually take that extra step to ensure there is someone else on my leadership team who’s more of a “feeler”. Having that balance to complement your strengths and shortcomings is helpful. My advice to more logic-leaning leaders? Constantly remind yourself to be more mindful about the emotions of your staff, and also ask your team to hold you accountable should you slip up.

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