“Growth is the only evidence of life”. (John Henry Newman, Apologia pro vita sua, 1864). Growth speaks of the changes that are happening to us, with or without us being aware of the same and pushes us forward. The victory of the individual lies in his ability to visualise this change – positively or negatively. Understanding the dynamics of change is, therefore, important in human relationships.
It is the task of the leaders to guide and assist his team members in wading through the changes effectively. He is to help the people to bring down the chaos and bring the order into their lives. Identification and recognition of the individual pattern of behaviour and personal outlook by the leader is the first step in bringing about the change in an entity. People generally are wary to the changes. It is the need to cling to the old ideas and the fear of failure on the acceptance of the new that makes them resistant to change. Commitment to change requires the emotional involvement of the parties involved. Support and recognition from the part of the supervisor can go a long way in helping the people adapt to the transitions at a faster pace by adding emotional participation.
The quantum and timing of the changeover has its say in the acceptance by the people. If the people are forced to undergo too much of a change in too short a time span, they will emotionally and physically become incapable of adopting it successfully. The moment the employees are convinced of the need for change, it has to be injected into the system gradually for its ready approval. The resources, relationship and communication also decide the speed of acceptance by the people. The individual must be provided with adequate resources to execute the transformation and well communicated about the need and advantage of imbibing the modifications.
The successful implantation of the change requires the support from all levels of the management. The individual cannot survive by himself. The strength and support form his team members are vital to understand the need and importance of change in one’s life. The top management has to provide for the resources and motivate the individual to achieve the goals. To recognise the need for the transformation and its impact on oneself the knowledge and backing of the rest is inevitable. They will help in the removal of fear and anxiety caused by the uncertainty. Change does not always result in progression. But the strength derived from others helps to visualise every change as an opportunity to grow.
Jerald M Jellison has defined the five stages that an individual pass through in accepting the change. Stage 1, called platform, is where the individual who is happy with his routine gets upset by the entrance of a change. Stage 2 or the cliff is where he pushed by the tide, proceeds further and fear of failure causes him to panic. Third or the valley stage induces him to exploit this opportunity. Stage four is where he ascents with more confidence and with very few errors in its operation. Stage five, when he reaches the summit, results in making the transformation a part of his routine.
A good leader understands the dynamics of the change and allows space, time and support to his team in its execution.