Get Your Team’s Commitment to Change, and Keep It

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As we near the final steps of the Blueprint for Building a High-Performance Culture, we want to focus on commitment. As we have said in a previous post, leadership can only get teams to commit to change if everyone is on board. No one can be left behind. Today we focus on how leadership will paint the picture for change and communicate it clearly to get teams on board. But the hardest part for both leaders and teams, is keeping that commitment to change.

It is important to keep in mind that you can expect some resistance to change. It is therefore imperative that communication be face to face or at minimum via conference call. Texting and emailing are not effective communication tools when trying to get your team on board with a new direction. We aren’t getting full communication, and without full communication you don’t get buy-in. There is no true dialogue. Everyone involved with the change needs to be able to both hear and share thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Hence the best way to do so is meeting together in person. True dialogue will build trust, and trust is the first step to getting anyone and everyone on the team to commit.

 

Below are some ideas to get started on overcoming resistance to change and getting your teams to commit.

 

Five Ways to Get Your Team’s Commitment to Change

1. Allow and encourage dialogue (and even debate)

We have discussed the topic of healthy conflict in our past posts. This is the time to find out where your team falls on the conflict continuum. Here is a great guide : https://action-strategies.com/where-does-your-team-fall-on-the-conflict-continuum/

When you start talking with teams about changing behaviors (and also reflecting on changing your own behaviors), make several notes of what feelings come up. It will be very important to have them plain to see for discussion in the next meeting. Having everyone’s thoughts organized will help the next conference be efficient and will be the next step to getting teams on board.

 

2. Help them see WIIFT

Another way to get your team on board is to help them see “what’s in it for them”. Commitment to change comes much quicker if there is a “return on the investment”.

Team members must understand the benefits of making the change and the consequences of not doing so. It is up to the leader to paint this picture for their team.

 

3. Let your team take part in creating the solution

You simply will not get the buy in you need if you expect team members to simply follow the directions you give them in emails, memos and flow charts.

But rather, involving them with every step of change, collaborating on how this can and will happen, will help provide the clarity needed so people can commit and take action.

As the leader it is your job to help your team understand what needs to change and why. Let your team be part of developing the “how”.

 

4. Check for support

Before ending a meeting or discussion, ask someone to summarize the decision that has been made and document the key points on a white board or flip chart.

Then ask two questions of the group:

  • First, can everyone support this decision?
  • Second, is there anyone who can’t?

Having a summary of the decision helps assure everyone is clear and on the same page about the direction. Asking the two questions makes it much easier to address a lack of support should it arise in the future.

 

5. Be clear about the desired outcome and expectations

As we mentioned in a previous post, there is always a gap between the idea of change and taking action to make change happen.

It’s worth repeating that leadership must be perfectly clear on the  desired outcome. This will reduce resistance to changing behaviors, beliefs, and experiences and make way for a high performing company culture.

 

After teams and leaders together identify their Priority #1 , the next step is getting to commitment.

If you are struggling to get your teams on board with change, I can help. Get in touch with me here to see how we can get your team aligned and ready for change.

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