If you are currently seeking some form of leadership coaching, your counsellor may have encouraged you at some point to become more open to change. It is perfectly fine to feel apprehensive about the idea, but the fact remains that you ought to view these developments with less apprehension and more determination. But you may be wondering: why should you accept any shifts in the norm, and how will your efforts pay off?
Common Reasons to Be Averse to Change
People normally fear what they are not familiar with, which can make them resistant to change. When things seem to be going smoothly, anything unexpected can seem like a threat that can destroy the status quo. These transitions can also seem daunting if people perceive that they cannot control the outcome.
However, the fact of the matter is that most developments cannot be stopped. That said, the very act of accepting it takes away some of the overwhelming power that people may think it has over them. Indeed, being open to these sorts of surprises can make individuals feel a bit more at ease because they can temper their own responses to it.
Moreover, adapting to and embracing these shifts is far better in terms of learning how to manage people. Projects also tend to be more successful when their leaders are not averse to innovation. This is because they are willing to adjust to new conditions while ensuring that they keep their team motivated and on-track.
Why Change Can Be a Good Thing
When things don’t stay the same, this indicates that some sort of progress is being made and that your team is heading towards some type of goal. It keeps people motivated and competitive in an ever-evolving world.
Moreover, being exposed to unfamiliar circumstances can encourage people to grow and improve their skills in a way that structured and unchanging environments can’t. Innovation keeps things fresh for everyone, making people feel more compelled to come to work and get things done.
Additionally, leaders who embrace change open up more opportunities for their respective organisations. More and more companies see the value of collaborating to modernise their businesses. As such, they’re more likely to work with other companies that accept newer models of operation.
That being said, embracing innovation cannot just be limited to a few people. It needs to be the status quo of the whole organisation. When leaders accept that things can’t stay the same, they lead by example and can use their influence to normalise change and agility across the company.
How Change-Agile Leaders Behave
Companies only truly evolve when individuals dare to take risks and others follow suit. Put simply, leaders who accept change inspire others to do so as well. They give their team members the confidence to try new things and encourage innovation across the organisation.
Generally speaking, change-agile leaders are fuelled by determination and purpose. They welcome innovation because they see it as an opportunity that demands their understanding, not their resistance. By striving to make sense of these shifts or transitions, they begin to see the potential for success.
For these leaders, accepting growth is a way of life. They deem it necessary to provide room for taking calculated risks and engaging in safe experimentation when it comes to finding solutions. They are willing to keep trying to find new ways to do things because they see this as the best way to propel their teams and the company forward. Openness to embracing developments almost becomes contagious with a change-agile leader, as they embody these values and inspire others to grow through them.
How to Be More Open to Change
Learning to be more accepting of change does not occur overnight. Rather, you’ll need to constantly work on changing your behaviour and the way that you look at things, especially if your fear is stemming from previous experience or learnings. In some cases, you may need to actively alter your belief system and slowly transform your default reactions.
If you are currently in leadership training or are working with a coach, you can also bring this up as a goal you’d like to accomplish. With help from your coach, you can slowly build your character and shape your values around positive references to innovation.
While the objective is to be more optimistic, this does not mean that you allow yourself to become deluded. It is essential that you take small steps toward having a more positive and accepting attitude, instead of automatically becoming hesitant and dismissive of progress. Recognising your fears allows you to accept and embrace developments without being reckless, which can improve how you act and function as a leader.
Accepting change is what sets a bona fide leader apart from a manager. A manager is content with maintaining their usual routine. A true leader does not fear growth; they accept it fully.
However, no breakthrough at any company was ever accomplished with ease. It may have required learning to do new things and unlearning old ways—and someone had to start that process. While it is important to be careful, individuals who welcome new opportunities tend to set themselves up to achieve greater things.
To be a more effective leader, you must learn to embrace innovation with open arms and step into the unknown to discover what’s out there. By doing so, you encourage and inspire others to do the same.
Should a Leader Always Accept Change? If you’re still searching for answers, ask Justine Maree Cox today.