Probably the greatest gift you can have in life is the ability to get one with other people.  We have already written about emotional intelligence and you can follow that up at the link. But this is simply a piece about  getting on with others – simple but very important.  Some of us are born with the gift;  for other our parents teach us how to do it.  Unfortunately, some people just slip through the net and they can’t understand why they don’t get on with others.  Going through change ,as in life, social skills are invaluable.  Happily even later in life you can learn some techniques to help.

1. Relax

You need to be able to concentrate on some one else and in order to do that you need to be relaxed enough to forget yourself.  We have provided a simple relaxation technique at the link which you might like to practice for 15 minutes before any really challenging social situation.  If you don’t have that much time, then take yourself to a quiet place, take some gentle deep breaths and just think of your favorite place in the world for a few seconds – one more deep breath!   Now you are ready for an adventure! Remember when you meet someone that you really do have lots of things in common already.  We all share the common human condition.  Most of us worry about our health, having enough money our families and what other people think of us.  The Dalai Lama thinks of everyone as an old fiend – that way he can relax and be warm towards them!  Try it – its very useful skill  and well worth practicing.

2. Concentrate on them

Here is this other person, with all their life history, before you!  They are an unopened book!  There are very few people who don’t like talking about themselves and their interests, if you give them the opportunity.  Don’t get too personal too quickly and its a good idea to relate your question to the even.  |You can always ask – have they been here before, why have they come, what is their special interest?  Parties you can always ask who they know?  Concentrate on them, listen to them and then ask a follow up question based on what they just told you – keep them talking!  Focus on them not you!

3. Use your listening Skills

We’ve already written on listening skills – more at the link.  But briefly – let the other person know you are listening   by making ‘I’m listening’ noises – ‘Uh-huh’, ‘really?’, ‘oh yes?’ Feed back what you’ve heard – “So he went to the dentist? What happened?” !  Refering back to others’ comments later on – “You know how you were saying earlier”.   Pay attention!

4. Empathise

Take an interest in what they saying – try to keep still,  make eye contact (but don’t stare) and smile (if they are telling you something neutral or nice and don’t if they are telling you something sad).   A fascination (even if forced at first) with another’s conversation, not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting. Remember what I said about sharing the human condition – they are interesting – they have a whole life to tell you about!

5.Build Rapport

Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically “I am like you, we understand each other“. Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture, and other aspects of communication can synchronize down to incredibly fine levels. Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be encouraged by conscious efforts.

  • Body posture ‘mirroring’, or movement ‘matching’  – stand or sit the way they stand or sit etc!  For example – if they cross their arms, cross yours.  But not obviously!
  • Reflecting back language and speech –  use the same words – if they are talking quietly – you do too.  If they are talking quickly speed up etc
  • Feeding back what you have heard, as in 3) above

6. Self Disclosure

You need to think about how much to talk about yourself and when.  Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other person.  Initially don’t tell them your family secrets, your politics, your religion, the details of your medical complaints or your divorce.  Keep those things for when you know each other a little better.  You can talk about the weather (in UK), television, films, the theatre, – ask them what books they are reading.  Keep it balanced and in the neutral space – let them take it on to more personal things when they are ready.   As conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other.

7. Appropriate eye contact
If you don’t look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they will get the idea that: you are ignoring them or you are untrustworthy or you just don’t like them.  This doesn’t mean you have to stare at them – staring at someone while talking to them can give them the feeling you are angry with them. Keeping your eyes on them while you are listening, of course, is only polite and smile when its appropriate.  But note rules vary and  eye contact in particular varies between culture.

8. Practice

Remember this is a skill and you have to practice.  Do it consciously and do it often.  You will find you lose yourself in it and become really interested in the other person and therefore interesting to them.  It will become second nature and you will begin to wonder what the fuss was about.  Above enjoy your practice and begin to enjoy meeting people.

Good Luck –I would love to hear how you get on!


A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains
Dutch Proverb

Dictionary Definition

1.the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

3.quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

In an earlier post on being a great boss in a recession I wrote that one of the great ways you could be good boss was to have patience. I said

“Don’t rush into panic decision making because you feel anxious.  Its a natural reaction but it really will not help – a panic reaction is not likely to be the best one.    Take time to make decisions properly.  Gather the facts, seek the views of your staff.  Then when you have made the decision take time to explain it to them, if you can.”

But gathering the facts takes time and as a society, we have lost the art of waiting for things – if we want something we want it now!  We want to make the important decision and we want to make it now – we fear being accused of procrastinating.  But getting to the point where we can make the right decision is not procrastinating.   Often we do feel frustrated and we can feel angry and, if the frustration continues, we feel stressed! But to learn to wait for the right moment and to have patience furthers peace of mind and makes it easier for people to be around us.   If we are patient, we release from our shoulders an unnecessary burden of anxiety and control. To choose patience is to have wisdom

Patience itself is important – its often described as a core virtue in religion or spiritual practices. For example, Job is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and the Qur’an; his story is considered a profound religious work. At its core, the theme is the co-existence of evil and God and the application of patience is highlighted as the antidote to the earthly struggles caused by that co-existence.    In Buddhism, patience  is one of the “perfections”  that a bodhisattva trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment. Patience is recognized within Hinduism in the Bhagavad Gita. In both Hinduism and Buddhism there is a particular emphasis on meditation, aspects of which lead to a natural state of mindfulness that is conducive to patient, effective and well-organized thought.

You are certainly more likely exercise patience if you know how to relax and we have information about a simple relaxation technique at this link.

Meanwhile when someone has deal with bad news during any kind of change, remember the words of an old pop song!

Have a little patience
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I’m still healing
Just try and have a little patience

(Take That – Patience)

So now all you have to do is go away and practice! practice! practice!

Successful Delegation

Successful Delegation

Delegation is one of the most important management skills. Good delegation saves you time, develops your people, can be used to groom a successor, and it motivates your team. Poor delegation will cause you and your team frustration – it de-motivates and confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task. So it’s a management skill you need and that is worth improving. Here are some simple steps to follow to get it right.

Define the task

Confirm in your own mind that the task is suitable to be delegated. Does it meet the criteria for delegating? Make sure the task is

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
  • Enjoyable, at the very least ethical, and worth doing!
  • Recorded

Select the individual or team

First consider why are you delegating to this particular person or team. What are they going to get out of it? What are you going to get out of it? Be clear about why you have chose this person!

Are they competent to do the task

Is the other person or team of people already capable of doing the task?  If not, can their training need be met in time to compete the task?

Explain the reasons

You must explain why the job or responsibility is being delegated. And why to that person or people? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things? You need to give as much information as you can!

Be clear about the desired result

What must be achieved?  Make sure they have understood by getting feedback from the other person. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how you intend to decide that the job has been done.  Be clear about the standard and quality you expect and how this will be judged. What reports will you require as the task is being completed? What methods of checking will you use – be clear at the outset and agree them with the person doing the task.  This will avoid later frustrations.

Consider the resources required

Discuss and agree what is required to get the job done. Consider people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities and services. Make sure they are available. Nothing is more de-motivating than being given a task without the resources necessary to complete it.

Agree the deadlines

When must the job be finished? Or if it is an ongoing duty, when are the review dates? When are the reports due ? And if the task is complex and has parts or stages, what are the priorities?

Support and communicate

Think about who else needs to know what’s going on (stakeholders), and inform them. Involve the other person in considering this so they can see beyond the issue at hand. Do not leave the person to inform your own manager or your peers of their new responsibility. Warn the person about any awkward matters of office politics.

Give feedback on results

It is essential to let the person know how they are doing, and whether they have achieved their aims. If not, you must review with them why things did not go to plan, and deal with the problems. You must absorb the consequences of failure, and pass on the credit for success.

Publicize success

Nothing will motivate your team more than hearing about a member’s success and knowing others in your organisation know what has been achieved.  Reward and reinforce success by publicizing it – make opportunities to talk about it.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link



Being a good boss is always the way to get the best out of your team.  This becomes more, not less, important during a recession when every resource available to you counts.  Even if you have to let people go, there is a right and wrong way to do it.  We have suggested 10 ways in which you can be a great boss. Listening is an important part of recognizing people and their contribution and making them feel part of your team.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to make sure the other person knows that you are listening to what he or she is saying.  lf if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying – you will know how important this is. You begin to wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing the conversation.  It make you feel the other person doesn’t put much value on you and what you have to say.

You can acknowledge what someone is saying just with  a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.  You aren’t necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention.  They help you to concentrate on what they are telling you and help you understand the real message.   Try to respond in a way that encourages the other person to continue speaking, That way you can get the information you need.   An occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message, as well as clarifying for you.

Here are five ways to improve your listening skills and to reassure the other person that you are really hearing them!

  1. Concentrate
    Give the speaker your undivided attention and acknowledge the message.  Look at the speaker directly and concentrate on what they are saying with an open mind.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by anyone or anything else.
  2. Use your body language
    Use gestures to show you are listening.  Nod, smile and use the appropriate facial expressions. Make sure your posture is open and inviting and make small verbal comments – yes, no and even uh huh!
  3. Give feedback.
    Our own prejudices and preconceptions can interfere with what we hear.   So reflect as you listen and then play back to the person what you think they just said – “ It sound like what you saying is”– followed by a short summary .  Or ask a question for clarification – “Is this what you mean..?”  Summarizing back to ensure you understood correctly reassures the person that you really are interested and listening
  4. Hold back on judgment.
    Don’t interrupt, its frustrating as well as discourteous – it wastes your time and theirs,  Let them finish – don’t role out counterarguments until you are absolutely sure they are appropriate.  Let the speaker finish their point first and make sure you understand it properly – concentrate on the speaker, not your self
  5. Treat the person and their message with respect
    Act with respect and understanding. The speaker is giving you a gift  – you are gaining information and perspective.  Be grateful – you may wish to dispute their argument but do it with respect.  Do not attack the speaker.  Be candid but constructive in your response

Above all treat the other person as you would wish to be treated!

Try the approach and then let us know if it worked for you!


Being a good boss is always the way to get the best out of your team.  This becomes more, not less, important during a recession when every resource available to you counts.  Even if you have to let people go, there is a right and wrong way to do it.  Here are 10 ways in which you can be a great boss


Do align your priorities with the needs of the business, but then, if you can, find a way to reconcile them with the needs of your staff.  Explain your priorities clearly to your team – make sure they understand.  If things have changed make sure they understand why! More at link


Have ideals but stop being idealistic – do not be a perfectionist but do expect good quality – there is a difference.  Recognize that your staff are human and human being do make mistakes.  When it happens find out why and try to make sure conditions or systems change so that it does not happen again – it’s not your place to punish.  If there is a disciplinary issue then deal with it quickly, fairly, and by the rules – see Integrity below! More at link

Praise and Recognition

Don’t look for excuses to be disappointed – start looking for excuses to say well done!  Say thank you to your staff!  Even when you can’t give bonuses, personal recognition goes a long way in making people feel valued and motivated. More at link

Staying Calm

Try being more relaxed and appearing more positive even in these challenging times.  If necessary use a relaxation technique to help you control your own anxiety – don’t spook your staff!   Be realistic but don’t panic – it just frightens people!  Remember Type B personalities succeed just as often as Type A in this day and age and they live longer to enjoy it! More at link


Listen to what your people have to say even when you don’t actually want to – make the time. Don’t but in with the “buts” – hear them out.  Listening is part of recognizing them and their contribution.  Surprise! surprise!, they may just come up with the idea that saves the business.  More at link

Team Work

Learn to be part of the team – join in the jokes (so long as no one else is excluded) – they will still respect you.  If they really feel part of the crew they are more likely to stick with the boat even when it is leaking a bit.  Be part of the conversation – It will help you understand what they are thinking. Useful resources on team work at this link


Check your delegation.  Are you still delegating all that you can?  In times of pressure don’t lose confidence in the team and start pulling things back .  It’s de-motivating for them and they might just feel like leaving you to it.  Show you have confidence in their ability to help pull the organization through! More at link


Don’t rush into panic decision making because you feel anxious.  Its a natural reaction but it really will not help – a panic reaction is not likely to be the best one.    Take time to make decisions properly.  Gather the facts, seek the views of your staff.  The when you have made the decision take time to explain it to them ,if you can. More at the link


Be as honest as you can and above all be fair.  Tell them the real position if you can, but also tell them what you are doing about it.  If they have a role explain that to them.  Be as hones as you can about the risks but don’t threaten the business with your honesty – its a fine judgment call.  When you can, help your staff prepare for bad news.  But combine all of this with being scrupulously fair.  They will know if you play the favorites game or take the opportunity to pay off old scores when you are laying people off or reducing hours.  You will lose good will and that extra contribution you need from those who stay.


If you can keep on training your staff.  Encourage them to train themselves.  If there are training opportunities locally encourage them to take them.  Learning new skills could be good for your business and it will help them cope if you have to lose them.  That will help the people who stay to keep their morale up and so your productivity.  Don’t stop thinking about your own professional development needs – you too need to prepared for an uncertain future!

There are 10 ideas here but there must be lots more out there.  If you have views on the ideas above and more ideas to contribute then please make a comment.  This is an important time and organizations need to make the best use of all their resources.  People are the most important resource of all.  There will be more resources here to help you cope with the times a head – so do come back!

Here is a link to what someone else thinks makes a good boss in hard times

Personality Theories and Tests

Article from

Personality theories; Perosnality types, behavioural styles theories, personality and testing systems – for self-awareness, self-development, motivation, management, and recruitment

Personality Theories!  Motivation, management, communications, relationships – focused on yourself or others – are a lot more effective when you understand yourself, and the people you seek to motivate or manage or develop or help.

Understanding personality is also the key to unlocking elusive human qualities, for example leadership, charisma, and empathy, whether your purpose is self-development, helping others, or any other field relating to people and how we behave.

The personality theories that underpin personality tests and personality quizzes are surprisingly easy to understand at a basic level. This section seeks to explain many of these personality theories and ideas. This knowledge helps to develop self-awareness and also to help others to achieve greater self-awareness and development too.

Developing understanding of personality typology, personality traits, thinking styles and learning styles theories is also a very useful way to improve your knowledge of motivation and behaviour of self and others, in the workplace and beyond.

Understanding personality types is helpful for appreciating that while people are different, everyone has a value, and special strengths and qualities, and that everyone should be treated with care and respect. The relevance of love and spirituality – especially at work – is easier to see and explain when we understand that differences in people are usually personality-based. People very rarely set out to cause upset – they just behave differently because they are different.

Personality theory and tests are useful also for management, recruitment, selection, training and teaching, on which point see also the learning styles theories on other pages such as Kolb’s learning styles, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and the VAK learning styles model.

Completing personality tests with no knowledge of the supporting theories can be a frustrating and misleading experience – especially if the results from personality testing are not properly explained, or worse still not given at all to the person being tested. Hopefully the explanations and theories below will help dispel much of the mistique surrounding modern personality testing.

There are many different personality and motivational models and theories, and each one offers a different perspective.

If you find these materials helpful please try to contribute something to the self-publishing Space, for example details of another personality model or psychology theory. Here are details about the Space on Businessballs and the philosophy behind it.

The more models you understand, the better your appreciation of motivation and behaviour.

personality models linked to this page

The Four Temperaments/Four Humours

Carl Jung’s Psychological Types

Myers Briggs® personality types theory (MBTI® model)

Keirsey’s personality types theory (Temperament Sorter model)

Hans Eysenck’s personality types theory

Katherine Benziger’s Brain Type theory

William Moulton Marston’s DISC personality theory (Inscape, Thomas Int., etc)

Belbin Team Roles and personality types theory

The ‘Big Five’ Factors personality model

FIRO-B® Personality Assessment model

The Birkman Method®

Other personality theories and psychometrics tests models

For more on this visit the website at this link


© alan chapman, review, explanation, code 2005-2009; other trademarks and concepts and material as shown. Please retain this notice on all copies.


Lean Working“, is an approach  that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered around creating more value with less work.

Lean is an improvement approach to improve flow and eliminate waste that was developed by Toyota.  It is focused on getting the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow, while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change.

Lean brings into many  sectors, new concepts, tools and methods that have been used effectively to improve process flow. Tools that address workplace organization, standardization, visual control and elimination of non-value added steps are applied to improve flow, eliminate waste and exceed customer expectations.

Lean principles

  • Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product/service family.
  • Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product/service family, eliminating every step and every action and every practice that does not create value.
  • Make the remaining value-creating steps occur in a tight and integrated sequence so the product/service will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  • As flow is introduced, let customers pull (ask for) value from the next upstream activity. .
  • As these steps lead to greater transparency, enable managers and teams to eliminate further waste, pursue perfection through continuous improvement.

Further Reading – “Lean Thinking “ by  James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones 1996

Kaizen – Continuous Improvement- Incremental Change

Kaizen – Continuous Improvement – what is it?

Kaizen – Continuous Improvement! This is- is an approach which  introduces small, kaizenincremental changes continuously into an organisation. The purpose is to improve quality and/or efficiency.  And it works on the principle that employees are the best people to identify opportunities for improvement. They see processes in action all the time. When you use this approach therefore you need to have a culture that encourages and rewards employees for their contribution to the process.

Kaizen can operate at the level of an individual. Or through Kaizen Groups or Quality Circles. These are groups specifically brought together to identify potential improvements. So, this approach very much encourages team working as improvements can form an important part of the team’s aims.

Key features of Kaizen:

  • Improvements are based on many, small changes rather than  big, cross-origination changes
  • As the ideas come from the workers themselves, they are less likely to be radically different for the present practice. And therefore easier to implement
  • Small improvements are less likely to require major capital investment than major process changes
  • The ideas come from the talents of the existing workforce. This is as opposed to using specialist consultants or equipment which are usually expensive
  • All employees continually be seek ways to improve their own performance
  • Kaizen helps and encourage workers to take ownership for their work. It can help reinforce team working, thereby improving individual and team motivation

Kaizen is characterised by many, small improvements over time,

It contrasts with the major leaps seen in when radical new technology or production methods. Over the years, the sheer volume of Kaizen improvements can lead to major advances.  But managers cannot afford to overlook the need for radical change from time to time. For example, following major technological change or market shifts. The need to outsource from Western Europe to cheaper centres such as India and China would be unlikely to arise from Kaizen.

Not all happy

Whilst staff suggestions can help to enrich the work for many employees, Kaizen can be seen as an unrelenting process. Some firms set targets for individuals or for teams to come up with a minimum number of ideas in a period of time. Employees can find this to be an unwelcome pressure. It becomes increasingly difficult to find further scope for improvement. Some firms, especially Japanese-owned, conduct quality improvement sessions in the workers’ own time. This can lead to resentment unless there is appropriate recognition and reward for suggestions.

For Kaizen to be effective, there has to be a culture of trust between staff and managers. This should be supported by enlightened management. Good two-way communications and a de-layered organisation will support the approach. Nevertheless, some workers might see the demands as an extra burden rather than an opportunity. It can take time to embed Kaizen successfully into an organisation’s culture.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link



Creating a vision is critical to the success of any programme and particularly Change Progammes – here are some thoughts from Coaching-Businesses-to-Success.Com
Top Ten Things About Visioning

To visualise where you are going, is deeper and more sensory than anything you have ever done before…
And these are the skills of those who are able to create a vision you can really live and breathe…:-

  1. Are Focused
    They are able to visualise in a focused and very clear way what ‘perfect’ will truly look like in the future.
  2. Involve Others
    Bring others into the contribution, such that they might try things they might never have before.
  3. Realise Core Strengths
    Whilst being ultra-keen to grow and evolve, these people are true to the core strengths of the organisation and see the future through that.
  4. Take Time Out
    Make the time for themselves and help others to free up thinking room. And use it fully.
  5. Play the Game
    They encourage a creative environment and take full part personally. They themselves set out to find ways of generating novel and fun ways to make this live.
  6. Think Big
    Top class visions may even be unattainable within lifetimes and are often part of a bigger legacy. many major corporations have 50-year (and more!) visions.
  7. Use Their Senses
    A vital part of Visioning is to be able to use all five senses as fully as possible and alos that wonderful sixth sense, the one of intuition.
  8. Are Knowledgeable
    They keep their eyes and ears open and are fully aware of the possibilities. they suck in information and ideas to help form their thinking. Media, other people, non-business analogies and metaphors too.
  9. Put Aside Beliefs
    Great visionaries can shift themselves into a different dimension when looking at the future and leave their existing beliefs outside the room.
  10. Are Evangelists
    They shout the outcome vision from the rooftops, relating so well to all of their people. They explains it in words which mean something to all involved in future success.
Ten Ways to be Better at Visioning
  1. Get Everyone Onboard
    Create a place and time when as many of your people as possible can get involved. If you can manage 10 or 1000, then do it.
  2. Create an Environment
    Get basics right. Make things feel comfortable when undertaking this activity. Make it a safe place to share. Ensure everyone involved is as relaxed and in a place to contribute.
  3. Experience Fully
    Encourage a ‘virtual walkthrough’ of the future, using good facilitation skills. Get into the moment.
  4. Keep Outputs Individual
    Make sure that everyone is able to contribute in their own way to clear the way for extraordinary insights.
  5. Celebrate Differences
    Value the differences; others are not like you are – so you will gain additional value from them. And they from being involved.
  6. Be Very Open-Minded
    How you handle outcomes will set the scene for future progress, so be very careful to listen, absorb and accept.
  7. Explore Opportunities
    The outputs from these exercises will be extraordinary. Every one is valuable and none should be dismissed. So find out more, it may create more than you think.
  8. Value Everyone
    It’s not just the ideas that are so valuable, your incredible people are too. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to celebrate how great they are, personally.
  9. Be Very Descriptive
    Take the chance to think big and encourage people to share their thoughts in glorious detail. Encourage fun through constructive anecdotes and metaphors.
  10. Live, Eat and Breathe It
    Use it as your guiding light. Use this organisational ‘highest goal’ to measure direction. Captivate people with your enthusiasm and decide every action by it.

The Coaching Business to Success Website  Visioning.


In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step Three: Create a Vision for Change and Step Four: Communicate the Vision

Step Five: Remove Obstacles

If you follow the earlier steps and reach this point in the change process, you’ will have been talking about your vision and building up buy-in from all levels of the organization. Hopefully, your staff will want to get busy and be out there achieving the benefits that you’ve been promoting.

But is anyone resisting the change? And are there people (individuals or groups), processes or structures or even organisations that are getting in its way?

You need to put in place the structure for change, and continually check for barriers/blockers to it. Removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision, and it certainly helps them move the change move forward.

What you can do:

  • Identify, or hire, change leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change.
  • Look at your organizational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with your vision.
  • Recognize and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify people who are resisting the change, and help them see what’s needed.
  • Take action to quickly remove barriers (human or otherwise).