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Change Leadership: 5 tips to leading others

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Many of us recognise that change is inevitable and navigating change successfully is a skill that many of us continue to develop throughout our lives.

However, knowing how to lead others through change is a different skill in itself and it’s imperative that leaders are equipped with the knowledge and strategies that allow them to effectively guide their teams through the turbulent waters of change.

Here are our top 5 tips to use change leadership successfully lead others through change:

1. Empower and Involve

Research shows that people are more likely to embrace and commit to changes when they feel they have had a say in the process. Though this may make the decision-making process a little longer, involving your team in decision-making and creating opportunities to receive feedback throughout the change process will allow your organisation to better adapt and increase engagement and acceptance within your team.

2. Communicate the Rationale

Another way to get people on board is to explain what benefits the change will bring or why it is necessary because it helps individuals understand the vision driving the change, meaning they are more likely to be supportive. Being transparent also builds trust and reduces the likelihood of rumours or assumptions which often exacerbate feelings of fear and uncertainty.

waterfall as a metaphor for change leadership

3. Provide Emotional Support

Change can create uncertainty, fostering feelings of anxiety, fear and a loss of control for many people. However, research shows that even changes that we view positively and look forward to, can have an impact on our stress levels and overall wellbeing. It is important to be attuned to these emotions, have regular check-ins and be available to provide support to those who need it.

4. Invest in Training and Development

Investing in training and development is often overlooked, however it is key to ensuring that your team acquire the skills and knowledge they need to adapt to and succeed in the new environment. This can reduce anxiety by enhancing confidence as well as contributing to the overall success of the change.

waterfall through rocks representing obstacles to change and how change leadership can help

5. Address Resistance

It should be expected that some people will have concerns or worries about big changes. Building psychological safety within your team will help members to feel comfortable voicing their concerns and it is important to take the time to explore and address these concerns if they do. These conversations often produce valuable insight into potential challenges, providing opportunity to restore confidence and address misconceptions.

Leading others through change is not just about implementing new systems or processes; it’s having the ability to guide and support your teams through the emotional and cognitive transitions which come with it.

How D4S can support you with leading others through change

Understanding some of the psychology behind change can help to equip leaders with the tools and knowledge they need to lead successfully through change.

Addressing resistance, providing support, communicating the rationale, investing in training and development and involving the team in your thinking are just the tip of the iceberg for how organisations can navigate change more smoothly and emerge stronger on the other side.

If you’d like to find out more speak to our team to explore our organisational consulting options, leadership programmes and shorter sessions including our free espresso tasters.

Crisis leadership - How to lead effectively in a crisis


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