In The Turn

Five Questions for Navigating Through Change

Regardless of how you feel about change, it’s going to happen. Life will always throw you uncertainty and upheaval. The real question is what are you going to do about it? And how can you lead effectively during the most difficult times?

Whenever we find ourselves experiencing significant change our first reaction is often confusion and denial – then frustration and anger. But as a leader, it’s up to you to help get your team back on track again.

We’ve created a roadmap with five questions to help you and your team navigate the challenges you’re facing and develop a game plan for moving forward. This worksheet can guide the conversation to create clarity and consensus for your new direction.

  1. What is your reality?

In other words – what is happening? What changes are occurring and how are they impacting you? What new challenges are you facing as a result of the change? Get everything out on the table, good and bad. Attempt to understand the full scope of the change.

  1. What can you control/can’t you control?

It’s important to think through both – what is within your power, and what isn’t. This allows you to focus your efforts where you have the opportunity and authority (implied or assumed) to take action.

  1. What do you want?

What does a “win” look like for you? What benefits would be realized from success? Write it down (even if it scares you) and let that drive your actions and priorities from here.

  1. How will you get there?

This is the hardest part. You can’t get to your destination without a plan, so what do you need to do to get where you want to go? It’s important to listen carefully to your team and include all the things that must happen in order to achieve the results you want. For planning purposes, just list the major activities and key areas that must be addressed. You can fill in the details once the overall strategy is clear.

  1. Are you in?

Start by stating your commitment as the leader. Ask each participant if they support the plan and the effort it will take to win. Have them sign the roadmap signaling their commitment. Once everyone is in, encourage the team not to look back, but to keep their eyes focused on the future.

By working together and staying committed to the goal, success becomes more achievable.

Remember, at the end of the day you can’t control every circumstance you encounter. However, if you do nothing else, make this experience a part of your leadership journey that truly matters.

Below you’ll find a link to download my “Roadmap for Leading Through Change.” I’ve drawn upon my own change management experiences to design this guide. It consists of the five questions listed above as well as a worksheet to chart your answers.

I hope this proves to be a very practical tool to help as you navigate through change and find a new way forward.

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