When someone understands that change is necessary, it doesn’t mean they know how to make the change. They may know that something is important to do, but not know how to implement it. There are two types of people that don’t know how to change. There are humble people that want to change and will accept your help. And, there are people that want to change but are too arrogant to take help from anybody. As a leader, you will experience two extremes and everything in between.
They don’t know how to change
Have you ever heard the saying that, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” That saying is definitely true when it comes to change. There are a lot of people that have a very hard time picking up new methods or techniques when it comes to change.
Regardless of one’s age, there are many “old dogs” that can’t be taught new tricks. This could be the young teenager that thinks they know it all. It could be the recent college graduate that thinks he or she learned everything they needed to know to be successful in college. It could be the experienced professional that feels they have all the answers because they’ve “been there and done that.” There are also people that question why a change is necessary because they have gotten along this long without the change, so why do they need the change? Whoever it is, there are many people that can’t change because they don’t know how to change. So why don’t they know how to change?
They Aren’t Humble
When people aren’t humble, they believe that they know a lot. Often times, they think they know more than anyone else. They learn from their own mistakes rather than from the mistakes of others because even if others failed it doesn’t mean they will fail. This attitude of no humility may not give the person problems right away, but it will catch up with them after time.
They Want to Change, But Need Help
There are also people that don’t know how to change but sincerely want to learn. These people are great followers because they are humble. If you tell them what they need to do to learn, they will do their very best to follow through. They will do everything you tell them to do so they can improve.
As the leader, you have a great responsibility to help these people to learn their how to change. Everyone has been at this point at one time or another. Whether it was learning to walk, drive a car, pick up a new talent, or do something else, we have all experienced a time when we didn’t know how to do something and needed help to learn how.
How to Help the Humble
As a leader, provide proper training so everyone knows how to make the change. Explain why the change is needed, how it will affect them, what will happen if the change doesn’t happen, and their role in the change. As part of that explanation, teach them the steps involved. Be sure to frame the change by explaining what will happen with the change AND what will not happen. When you frame the change, it minimizes or eliminates the fear people have.
Whether you are working with the “old dogs” or those just don’t know, it is important to follow through. As you train people on how to change, follow up with them regularly. Ask if they have questions and find out how you can help them make it through the change. They may find the change to be very uncomfortable so your follow-up will be extremely valuable to them.
What are your thoughts?
How have you helped others know how to change? How has that minimized their fear? How has your guidance improved their outlook on change? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!