When things don’t go to plan, we may seek to blame others or the situation. In our frustration, we fail to realize that a change of self has the greatest impact on us and the teams we lead.
How’s the job going? Is it what you expected? Are you achieving the things you set out to do? Perhaps you’re seeking a change of scene?
Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. – Arthur Christopher Benson
Occasionally, we find ourselves in a job that just doesn’t feel right. We have the right talents and experience for the job, yet we’re not making inroads. We have a choice: leave for something new, or stay and deal with the situation.
Change of Self
When leading change, we should remember we can’t make someone change. People change when they want to change. And how often do we apply this principle to ourselves? Perhaps the reason we aren’t enjoying the successes we had hoped is because we first need to change our behaviour! We need a change of self.
Let me illustrate…
There was a time when I took on a team after a long period of uncertainty and change. Morale was at an all-time low and productivity far from great. Whenever I entered the office, an almost palpable air of negativity hit me. Things couldn’t get much worse!
I soon came to realize that everyone was feeding on each other’s negativity. People would reject new ideas automatically and view any change with distrust. Clearly, it would be incredibly hard to work with the team.
Furthermore, I had to do something fast, so I chose to look at my attitude and behaviour. I learned to understand that I was contributing to the team’s behaviour in some way.
I had to ask myself some searching questions.
- Do I arrive at work with a positive attitude?
- Do I engage in office politics and gossip?
- Are there occasions where I criticize my peers or seniors in front of the team?
- Do I complain about work-related issues with the team?
- Am I a good role model?
Changing Team Behaviour
I soon realized I was falling short. I had to change: I urgently needed to change my behaviours. Indeed, if I didn’t change, there was no way the team would. From then on, I was positive about the change and enthusiastic about what the team could do.
Here are five things I learned to do that ultimately made the team a big success. A team I was proud of:
- Focus on the present and what is needed to solve current problems. Later look to the future and create a shared vision.
- Tackle negativity head-on by challenging negative thinking, comments and behaviour.
- Give the team opportunity to air their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling them and moving on.
- Engage the team in decisions and the changes that needed to happen.
- Be positive. Think positive.
Changing our behaviour will inevitably affect the behaviour of people around us. And a change of self is what’s needed yet often overlooked.
Are you ready to change? What changes have you made to develop your team? You are welcome to tell us in the comments.