If people do not like you, they will not listen to you… and they will not certainly not change their behavior because of you.
Getting people to change their behavior requires trust in the messenger and that kind of trust resides in positive relations. In the everyday chit chat relations where you as an individual reenergize, seek meaning and develop an understanding of the “organizational truth”.
You will never be successful with a change program, if you do not recognize this.
Trust and positive relationships build psychological safety. The safety to speak up, when you feel something is not as it should be. And for the change manager the open feedback needed to succeed.
Building trust and positive relations requires consistency in actions and communications. Where people know you honor commitments, keep your promises and are willing to help. Also, without being asked.
Obviously, this sets a limit to how many people you can have those relationships with.
This is where the practice of identifying change agents and ambassadors is often proposed as the solution. People out there in the organization, who can be spokespersons and advocates for the desired change.
But this solution is – as most of us know – not leading to success!
It identifies the wrong people. People trusted and liked by the change managers and leaders.
But you can as a change manager or leader not identify who your people trust and have positive relations with. You simply do not have the visibility into the informal networks that you need to pick the right people.
Only your people can identify the right people. You need to let them identify who they trust and like. The people they seek out in the everyday chit chat. People they know, and often remind them of themselves, when they look in the mirror. You will be surprised, when you learn who it is.
Only when you have let your people identify, who it is, you can do as recommended by Abraham Lincoln in 1841: “To persuade the undecided send in someone THEY trust”, which allows you to succeed with change.
Inspiration for the Post
Originally posted on LinkedIn by Jeppe Vilstrup Hansgaard: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/positive-relations-vital-successful-organizational-change-hansgaard/