Knowledge is the 3rd component of change, and it is what most people think of when they think of change management - giving the people who need to make a change the information necessary to make the change. It typically takes the form of training.
Your responsibility in this component of change is to make sure you are giving it the attention it deserves. If training is provided, you need to take responsibility to attend it and pay attention. This isn’t always easy because we are all busy. But, your role is to make sure you make the time necessary to get the knowledge you need in order to adopt the change. Without this knowledge, you can’t be successful.
Miss the first 2 episodes in this series?
Components of Change: Awareness
Components of Change: Desire
Every person has their own desire to accept any given change. This means that a single change communicated to a group of people will automatically have different responses by each person in the group. Some will adopt it easily, some will resist. The important thing to remember is that the desire to adopt the change may or may not have anything to do with the change itself.
Your desire to accept a change is within your control. It is your responsibility to get your desire to adopt the change from wherever you are to acceptance. That means you’ve got to put in the work to get yourself there. You’ve got to figure out why you are resistant.
If you need more answers, go get them.
If you need training, find out when the training will be held.
And, if you can’t get yourself to the point where you accept the change, then figure out what the next step needs to be. In extreme examples, it might mean moving on.
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We are all impacted by change. Some of them we accept easily, others, not-so-much. But, even if it isn’t a change you are excited about, you can make the whole process better for yourself by understanding the components of change and coming up with a process for dealing with change that works well for you. I believe that one of the most overlooked components of change is the fact that it is very personal.
Over the course of 4 episodes, we are going to dive into the components of change, and in this episode, we start where is all begins, Awareness.
One of the most important skills you can develop is your ability to influence people. And, influencing people is tricky, because your natural tendency is to think that it is within your control. But, that isn’t the case. The decisions they make about you are theirs, not yours.
For example, if I say that I own a Prius, what conclusions do you draw about me?
You might think that I’m a tree hugging hippie and that I must be bleeping vegetarian.
Or, you might think that I’m an environmental activist, living in a way that minimizes my impact on the environment, living the ideals that we should all strive for.
But, in either case, that is your conclusion, not mine. You have no idea why I drive a Prius. You don’t know anything about what motivated me to make that decision.
So, when you and I interact, how you see me – as a tree hugging hippie or as an environmental champion will impact the interaction.
This episode examines the filters that we bring to our interactions with others and how we can understand them in order to improve our relationships.
Each of us has a set of processes that we follow every day in order to accomplish our job. The longer you are in your job, the more proficient you get at each process. But, you can be the most proficient person at the process, and it could still be a problem.
Each process is a part of a bigger system. No matter how efficient each process is, if it doesn't work well within the system that it is a part of, there could still be problems.
You are more valuable to your company if you can look at the system as a whole rather than just your process within the system.
Systems are typically:
· Cross functional (cross departmental)
· Made up of many processes
· Spanning many different disciplines
The best way for you to improve your understanding of a system is to look at a process that you are a part of and then look backward to determine the processes that impact you and look forward to determine the processes that you impact.
Time blocking is a time management method where you put blocks of time on your calendar in order to make sure you can get things done. It seems pretty obvious and straight forward, yet most people don’t do it. We let the urgent, non-important things get in the way of the non-urgent, important things.
The process is simple: when you have something you need to get done by a certain deadline, back up from the deadline, and block time on your calendar to work on it. If you think it is going to take 8 hours to complete, block 8 hours of time on your calendar. It doesn’t have to be one 8 hour block. It could be eight 1 hour blocks, but the key is to make sure you’ve blocked enough time in advance of your deadline to get it done.
Then, you’ve got to honor the blocked time. You can’t snooze or ignore it and spend your time replying to emails. You’ve blocked the time for something that is important, so take care of the important item you have planned, and let the non-urgent stuff wait until later.
Annual Reviews are universally dreaded. There are some good reasons for that, but one of the areas that you can really impact is to reduce the amount of time it takes for you to write your self-review. Our process documents your accomplishments each month so that at the end of the year, you’ve already got a list of everything you accomplished. No need to try and remember back to what you did last February.
Step 1: Put time on your calendar for the end of each month to do the review. By blocking out the time, you’ll 1) have a monthly reminder to document what you did that month and 2) already have the time allocated to getting it done.
Step 2: Document your accomplishments each month. Don’t worry about if they are significant or not – you can determine that at the end of the year.
Step 3: At the end of the year, review all of the accomplishments you documented and determine the best way to summarize them in your review.
We all love to hate change. But, I believe that change gets a bad wrap because you actually accept a lot of change with absolutely no drama. But, you don’t remember those situations because they weren’t really painful. So, you don’t give yourself credit for accepting all of those changes. When there is a change you struggle with, you remember it. Over time, you forget the changes you accepted easily and remember the changes you didn’t and come to the conclusion that you aren’t good with change.
When a change is coming your way, determine where you fall on the scale of change reaction:
What happens when you are toward the total freak-out side of the scale? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Change comes from your concern about the impacts of the change – you need to spend some time thinking about what answers you need in order to get comfortable with your new normal.
Recognize the stress that you are feeling – Stress begets stress. Once you recognize that your reaction to this change is stressful, you’ll begin to calm down, which will allow you to start to think through the change rationally.
You are in charge of your reaction - Taking control of your reaction means you are going to be more productive.
Influencing others is one of the most important thing you’ll need to do over the course of your career. When you need to convince others to buy-in to your idea, you’re going to need to influence them in a way that they are receptive to. You’ll need to tailor the way you present your idea to each person in a manner that they are likely to hear it.
I’m not suggesting you lie about anything. I’m suggesting that, everyone has different personality traits that drive their preferences. Some people are task oriented and others people oriented. Some people are analytical, and others go with their instincts. Your job is to understand their preferences and tailor your message to those preferences. You are providing the same information, just in a format that the other person is more likely to accept.
This is the 6th and final episode in a series on productivity. Go to episode 1.
Do you let email drag you through your day? If you start your day by opening email, then the answer is likely YES! Letting email drag you through your day means that you are prioritizing those emails over all your other work. Everything on your to-do list. Everything on your project list. Everything on your someday maybe list. Is email that important? Unless your job description is to reply to emails (maybe you are a support person and tickets come in through email), then the answer is NO. You have made the choice to make email a priority. I know it sounds harsh, but that’s my job here – to be honest with you.
In order to be as productive as you can be, you need to approach email as you would any other input into your to do list. Set aside time each day to go through your email and process it. By process it, I mean, give it a category and take the appropriate action based on your system. As a reminder, the categories are:
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