The Most Common Mistakes Managers Make #2


The most common mistakes managers make #2 — Resisting change

Openness to change is a state of mind that frequently eludes managers. As they busy themselves with the day to day running of the organisation, they often forget that the outside world is still there, providing an ever-present need for change.

Over many years, surveys conducted by LMA have shown that far from being scared or intimidated by change, employees are highly adaptable and have become quite used to change. So much so that they see change as the norm.

Yet many managers resist change, close their minds to change and do their level best to maintain the status quo. Surprisingly, they often do this to the detriment of the growth and evolution of their employees and the organisation.

So, what leads managers to make this mistake?

Managers are prone to avoiding change for several reasons. Sometimes it’s because they think the team won’t be able to adapt and ground will be lost. Other times they can’t see the benefit of change and view it as a waste of time – theirs and their team’s.

Some managers resist change because it may show up their own inadequacy…they believe they may not have the skills or knowledge to manage under changed circumstances. Others feel that their position or power will be threatened. Many simply feel a lack of confidence in leading change.

One common feature in all these situations is the failure to see the potential within the change….to see the possibility of a different approach that will produce better outcomes.

A mind closed to change often results in disillusionment amongst team members as they seemingly ‘bang their heads against a brick wall’.

“Ron the Resister” was like this…so paralysed by the fear of what could go wrong that he was never able to imagine what could go right.  As a result, he never changed.  What did change, however, was his team…one by one they got tired of his resistance, and they left.

So, what are some of the alternatives to avoid this mistake?

Change should be accepted by managers as a way of life…an integral part of the role of leading and managing.  Change should be looked upon as an opportunity for continuous improvement, not a threat.

The concept of continuous improvement has been around for many years now and the ability to lead and manage improvement has become an essential skill of modern managers.

Managers could send a clear signal that suggestions for change and improvement are welcomed and anticipated, and that all employees have permission to engage with change in a positive way.

Leading people development courses have a strong focus on change leadership and management skills and processes…personal change in setting goals and organising time more effectively…change as a manager in understanding how people work…change for organisations in developing more effective leaders.

The key notion is that change is a good thing, not something to be avoided like the plague as “Ron the Resister” has been doing.

Among the many benefits of change is that it provides the opportunity for review, refinement and renewal.  When planned and implemented well, continuous improvement can give new enthusiasm and momentum to individuals and organisations.  The benefits that flow from change can infect teams with new energy and spark to achieve even more.

Getting into the ‘habit’ of planning, leading and implementing change is essential for effective leadership and management.  If a manager can learn to encourage change and work with it, they are more likely to experience a more engaged team and greater productivity.….

Change is everywhere and it is now a normal part of personal and organisational life…avoid becoming “Ron the Resister” so that the benefits of change can be experienced by all.

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