It’s often difficult to discern what the more important change management skills might be. Like a lot of lesser-known business sciences out there, there’s a lot of grandiose trappings associated with this concept, and it’s kind of hard to wade through the fluff out there to see what really makes up the core of this skill. It’s a very important skill to make avail of within your company, but really … what’s involved in this?
Well, change management skills are actually pretty obvious once you understand what change management involves. Taking a look at the models presented by experts in the field, it’s easy to discern what change management actually involves, and it’s quickly obvious that the biggest hurdle that professionals in this field have to contend with is in fact the issue of detractors.
That said, let’s consider that the first and most important skill to have. No, it is NOT juggling (unless you are talking about 2 or more simultaneous tasks). Being able to deal with detractors to change is the most significant thing to have capacity with. Many models famously focus on “thawing” these people first and foremost. However, the real skill with this lies in addressing this issue more organically than that.
Directly addressing naysayers right off the bat is just going to eat a lot of momentum and time, and probably yield very little progress, all things said. The real skill with dealing with opponents to change is in very homeopathically selling them on the change by outlining how the changes reduce the nuisance of daily problems with the status quo that annoys said individuals. They may have never even realized that these issues were really that outstanding beforehand, but showing them that they are present, and that the changes are addressing these issues is what the real key to dealing with this entails.
But … there’s of course more to it than that. When is anything ever that simple and direct? Never, in the real world. So, what else is there? Oh, the much-troublesome people skills. If approaching people in luring them out of their comfort zone isn’t enough to make this a daunting field and set of responsibilities, there’s the whole multi-faceted aspect of personal leadership.
With change management, considering that the world as people know it is being turned upside down, a personal link of confidence and relatibability is incredibly crucial. In order for people involved to follow confidently into these changes, embrace and own them, leadership must be present who can take them by the hand and show them that in the end, things will be alright.
Others may argue that skills related with this are entirely about the logistics behind when to affect how much change and in what steps, to prevent a system from stalling. I agree with apologists of that aspect that it is significant, but that’s just your typical skills with planning and logistics that a number of fields might call for.
The real change management skills that weigh in heavily are all about people. Gaining their trust, selling them on the idea of embracing the uncomfortable transition that is any form of change to the norm, and of course, being the dependable cornerstone that leadership calls for.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.