The only constant is change. That is true.
The normal human response to change is “change resistance”. Not so sure this is necessarily true.
I would in fact like to challenge this view of human nature as I believe that in most instances people are, in reality, amazingly adaptive.
Much so-called resistance to change can be reduced if those leading change are able and willing to clarify the reasons, direction, expected outcomes and stakeholder requirements of change initiatives. Most people really just need leadership when it comes to change, whereby moving through the change cycle becomes significantly and measurably easier and faster.
An underutilized leadership competency is the ability to sincerely and consistently show appreciation for those stakeholders and employees who do support you. It seems to me that leaders are often reluctant to show real appreciation towards those who support and deliver their strategic intent. In many instances, leaders have a “taken for granted” attitude which I would suggest sabotages the success of change projects. “Well” you might say, “I pay their salaries or fees, what more do they expect?” In your heart of hearts, as a change leader, do you honestly believe that is all you need to do in acknowledgement of the people who make your personal dream or vision a reality?
Showing appreciation is arguably the least expensive and most valuable investment change leaders ever make. A kind word or a thank you for someone who goes the extra mile, noticing when the team is tired and appreciating their commitment to showing up and being persistent in the face of real obstacles and challenges, appreciating the thought that goes into coming up with a really creative idea. These leadership behaviours all have their roots in the same place. It means you were present enough to notice, that you were present enough to understand and that you were committed enough to the realisation of your own vision to say thank you, to care.
A small word of thanks and acknowledgement of hard work, persistence, creativity and moving beyond and through challenges will encourage the team and stakeholders to persist more than any other human behaviour. Appreciation, acknowledgement and gratitude cost nothing in terms of hard currency, but pay huge dividends in terms of loyalty, engagement and motivation for the long haul.
We all just want the “leader” in our lives to notice, to value, to care.