Event Date: 11/08/2019 (2:00 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST)
Change is here to stay; there’s no doubt about it. But in today’s empowered workplace, leading organizational change has changed. What was once the role of senior management is now the day-to-day responsibility of individuals throughout the organization, from the execs at the top of the pyramid to the frontline employees at the base. Everyone is responsible for managing change.
And that’s good news. Why? Because studies show that managing change in organizations is more successful when implemented by the people who have the most impact on employees. Regardless of authority or position, the ability to champion organizational change has become a key factor in professional and organizational performance.
Let Leading Change at Every Level be your guide. It’s a combination self-assessment and training workshop that measures skill level and develops the five behaviors of effective change leaders: modeling the change, communicating about the change, involving others in the change, helping others break from the past, and creating a supportive environment for change.
Participants will learn to:
- Understand why change initiatives fail and how to ensure their success.
- Implement a framework to actively lead change efforts.
- Plan for the success of future change through close evaluation of the current initiative.
- Identify, acknowledge, and manage resistance to ensure an efficient transition.
- Apply techniques for increasing and gaining commitment to the change.
You should attend if you are:
- A training or HR professional who delivers training.
- An independent training consultant.
- A manager who delivers or purchases training as part of their role.
This webinar is sponsored by HRDQ and is based upon research from Leading Change at Every Level, a self-assessment and training workshop that measures skill level and develops the five behaviors of effective change leaders: modeling the change, communicating about the change, involving others in the change, helping others break from the past, and creating a supportive environment for change. Learn more about Leading Change at Every Level at HRDQ.
Presented by: Alberta Lloyd
Is this webinar eligible for SHRM or HRCI credit?
We do not provide credits, certificates of attendance, or CEU’s for our webinars. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Where can we print our certificate that we completed this training?
We do not provide credits, certificates of attendance, or CEU’s for our webinars. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We’d like a copy of the materials used today. I tried emailing the address listed and it bounced back.
Unfortunately, we do not provide handouts on HRDQ webinars.
What are some good virtual ideas for team building?
Since HRDQ’s primary focus is experiential learning, most of the product and services we provide are for face to face experiences.
However, for an excellent intervention for virtual teams, we suggest (1) have each team member use an HRDQ team assessment, (2) have a facilitator calculate the average scores, (3) review the results with team members, and (4) use the team to problem solve the issues that arise. The process will have all of the team members involved and will have them feeling good about the solutions they create for more effective teamwork.
One easy-to-use tool is the Team Effectiveness Profile. The TEP is a self-administered learning instrument and is available an online version. It yields an overall team effectiveness score as well as separate scores for each of the five categories of team effectiveness, indicating the general health of the group and blockages that may hinder team effectiveness. The five categories are Mission, vision and goals, Team roles, Operating processes, Interpersonal relationships, and Interteam relationships.
A second great tool is the Extraordinary Team Inventory. This ETI begins with a 25-item online team assessment that measures the “Five Indicators of Extraordinary Teams”: Compelling purpose, embracing difference, full engagement, strengthened relationships, and profound learning. The anonymous responses from each team member are combined to create a team profile that serves as the basis for the half-day workshop
Both of these are conveniently available through an Online Team Assessment. You simply order one per team member. The Profile and Inventory is administered to your team members through the HRDQ Assessment Center portal. A full-color, detailed report for each participant and for your aggregate team score is delivered electronically to the facilitator/administrator when complete.
Then you are ready to receive the individual results and a compiled team score for your workshop intervention discussion of the scores.
Sara Lindmont: Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, Change Training: Leading Organizational Change Efforts hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Alberta Lloyd. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last about an hour. If you have any questions, go ahead and type them into the chat area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and then we’ll either answer them as we can, or after the session via email. Today’s webinar content is from our workshop and assessment called Leading Change at Every Level. If you’re interested in delivering this training at your organization, please contact HRDQ.
Sara Lindmont: Our presenter today is Alberta Lloyd. She co-founded and was vice president of Coleman Management Consultants based in Atlanta, Georgia from 1980 until August 2013. The firm worked with organizations to assist in utilizing their human resources to their full potential. Over the years, Alberta provided services such as specialized training for women and or minority professionals, diversity awareness and skills training, personal empowerment training for executives, managers, and the general employee population.
Sara Lindmont: She conducted employee opinion surveys, worked with diversity councils and affinity groups within organizations. And as needed, she completed mediation services and was trained in the facilitation of coaching and learning circles to teach the skills of peer coaching. She also provided individual and group coaching for over 100 high potential employees in one organization. Welcome Alberta and thank you so much for joining us today.
Alberta Lloyd: Hello. Thank you Sara. I appreciate that kind introduction. I’d love to talk about change because it really is life training. It’s not just change training for work, it’s life changing, life training. Today our objectives as we take a look are going to include understanding why the initiatives that we set for change fail, and how do we ensure their success? Sometimes what happens is that we talk about it, think about it, discuss it, analyze it, evaluate it, analyze some more. The point is, we never get quite changing. We never implement the changes that we do need. We’re going to take a closer look at that.
Alberta Lloyd: We’re going to look at steps that help us lead to the efforts. How do we effectively get to the point where we have the outcome that we desire? We’re going to take a look at how change may be viewed by other people, look at techniques for increasing in gaining commitment to change as well. There is a book that I just did enjoy and it helps us move the ball ahead. It’s called Poke the Box, and it’s by Seth Godin. I believe it’s G-O-D-I-N. He provides us with a view about shifting or getting things done, because we never quite get to the point that we’d like to get to.
Alberta Lloyd: Personal change when you think about it happens daily. We do not enter into a day where we do not go through multiple changes, whether it’s our route to work, whether it’s the way we get a job done or get the task done. We are figuring out constantly how to adjust, adapt, reject and move on very, very quickly, as long as the change is perhaps a little more distant from us than impacting us directly for it. Technology by the way, has caused us to change without thinking. A lot of angst though, goes along with it when you think about it.
Alberta Lloyd: In the last 20 years, we have had to deal with so much change and when we deal with it, as a matter of fact, we don’t even have to look at the last 20 years, look at the last five years. Just think of your telephone, your cell phone now with all the things that it can do. It has more power in our hands … We have more power in our hands now than we did in some of the major computers that sat on our desks, or that we walk around with as well. There is a comment though about change, everybody doesn’t have to do it. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to do it and that includes companies.
Alberta Lloyd: A comment that was made by W Edwards Deming, who was a quality specialist in the 50s I believe, and part of the 60s. I love that he stated, “It is not necessarily to change. Survival is not mandatory.” We don’t have to do it. And unfortunately, there are lots and lots of companies that chose not to, or at least didn’t do it quickly enough. Take a look as a quick exercise on your own, take a look at the Fortune 500 or the Fortune 100 lists from 20 years ago and you’ll see companies missing. Look at it from 10 years ago, five years ago and now we’re living in an area, in an arena rather where Sears, something that a lot of people grew up on is about to go out, or is certainly waffling at this point in time.
Alberta Lloyd: People as people, we also need to change or have had to change. Some have not. I don’t know about you, but I still have friends that were stuck in the 60s or are stuck in the 60s, never got out of it. They must’ve found something they liked in there, but their beliefs, their attitudes, their skills have not shifted. The dress to some degree has not shifted. The reality is that when we choose not to change, it’s okay, but change continues anyway. It goes on with that us. I had a participant in a class once that said, “If you look at change as a train, either you change and you get on that train or this is your stop.”
Alberta Lloyd: Why do we need to change? The reasons that we change have to involve the following, and I’m sure you can come up with many more that come on that list. We want to stay relevant, we want to stay in the in the game if you will. We need it to grow as organizations. And certainly as organizations are made up of people, we need our people to grow as well. We need to remain competitive both internally and externally. As a professional, we need to be competitive with our skill sets and making sure that they are updated.
Alberta Lloyd: To stay in business for companies is critical, that is the key. It’s wonderful to have a business, to work in a business, to own a business but if you can’t stay in business, then clearly that is going to create some big, big problems for you. Keep a job as I mentioned earlier, skill set. The skills that you are hired to do when you came on board are not always the same skills needed two years later, three years later, five years later and it is up to us as professionals managing our own career that we need to figure out how to update and keep our our skill sets alive and valued by the way.
Alberta Lloyd: We need to allow ourselves the opportunity to meet the evolving or the changing marketplace needs. Customers change, ideas change, needs change, tastes change, the way we package something changes and certainly it’s based on demographics. We’ve got multiple generations that are working together inside the workplace and inside the workplace, sometimes the thoughts and beliefs differ just based on an age of an individual.
Alberta Lloyd: Why do changes fail? We need to look at some of those, we don’t communicate them clearly. I think one of the things that we need to do with change is not only communicate it clearly, but we do need to make sure that we understand, or have an idea of what the outcome will look like. What do we want it to be when the changes have been implemented. When it works, what will it be? We don’t get a lot of people, or as many people as we need involved in the decision. We have a few people that make it and everybody else is supposed to live with it.
Alberta Lloyd: Not too many people like the idea when a decision has been made for them. They want to be a part, an active part as a matter of fact of the process. There is a lack of agreement or acceptance from those accepted, I’m sorry, affected. And when those people, if it affects my job, I really want some say in it, even if to say yes I agree, or no, I don’t agree. Where’s the support? My boss talks a good game, but won’t support when I try to do whatever it is that’s required of me. If there is no support for it, it’s not going to work.
Alberta Lloyd: Knowing the culture of your organization is important because if risks that do not work are not rewarded, then the culture is going to win. People are not going to take the risks to do that, to implement it. If we have multiple changes going on and don’t clarify where we’ve stopped one and started another, then it appears to be a flavor of the month. It’s like, everybody’s confused, don’t take it too seriously, it’s going to go away pretty soon, I don’t have to pay attention to it.
Alberta Lloyd: When you start looking at it and you try to figure out, “Okay, why? Why is that happening?” Then I realize that we all have to recognize that change is defined in lots and lots of ways. Change is scary, change is very hard for a lot of people. I’m sure you can add more descriptions to this particular list that I have here. It’s painful, it is bothersome. It’s exciting though. On the positive side, it can be fun. It is easy for some people.
Alberta Lloyd: There are a couple of things that we need to recognize or to point out here and that is, that change is a loss. Change means I’ve got to stop doing one, working my process, getting my job done in a particular way to adopt, adjust or adapt to another way. That loss is huge because I used to feel smart. If I felt smart, then I was a lot more productive. If it feels like I am making errors, then the loss is going to make me feel down, it’s going to make me feel a lot sadder as well.
Alberta Lloyd: Change can be fearful for a lot of people not smart enough. The computers as an example, utilizing computers. I recall when email first became a more popular way of communication within the workplace. There were lots of people who creatively avoided using email and understanding it and utilizing it. Texting has now become one of the major channels of communication. Again, people are also having difficulty with the texting communication styles that are going on.
Alberta Lloyd: One thing that people don’t realize when it comes to change is that when I don’t feel smart and I have to ask or rely on somebody else to help me through something that’s a lot younger, less experienced, doesn’t have as I would look at it, does not have the same skill set that I do, it can be embarrassing. When you put it on a personal note, many of us through the years have had younger people stop our VCRs from blinking when the VCRs were around. We’d put tape over it and we couldn’t figure it out, or borrowed somebody’s younger child if we didn’t need it.
Alberta Lloyd: Recently I had a chance to visit one of my great nieces who is five. She took my telephone and wanted to take pictures. When I said, “Okay, you can take the picture,” then she said, “Do you have any games on here?” I said, “No, I don’t play games on my phone.” She said, “Yes you do.” She found this little game, it was called Tom, Talking Tom I think it’s called. So, she did something. I don’t know what she did to that thing, but she had it so that it was pecking on the little screen in the middle of the night with little notes like, “I’m hungry,” or, “I have to go to the bathroom,” or something else.
Alberta Lloyd: I could not figure out how to get that thing off for anything. I had to call her grandmother and ask her grandmother, “How do I get this thing off? I don’t want this little thing talking to me,” because obviously I could not call a five year old and ask her what she did to my phone and how to undo it. But at any rate, when you take a look at something like that, they know how to … The younger they are, two years olds, they can work remotes. They know the difference between five or six remotes that you have for televisions to do all kinds of things and before you know it, you are watching Thomas the Train, or PAW Patrol or some of the other things that are on.
Alberta Lloyd: Alexa, Echo, Google, all of those elements in the homes now with this technology is changing the way children are being raised because little ones can talk to and start those activities, whatever they want. There is a cute little commercial that I saw on television. Apparently, Baby Shark Song is huge for those who have small children, that it’s huge. There’s a little girl who can barely talk and she’s trying to tell Alexa to play Baby Shark. Well, Alexa doesn’t understand. But the point is that you have a two year old, or a two and a half year old who was talking to a piece of equipment that adults are still trying to figure out how to operate effectively and they’re able to do it as well.
Alberta Lloyd: I had the opportunity, or I have the opportunity to count as a friend of mine, a lady who is 102 years old. She recently moved, her daughter moved her from her home to Atlanta, her home in Florida to Atlanta to provide care for her. She is fully ambulatory. No pains, nothing, I’m afraid to even have a headache when I see her because she complains about nothing. But she said to me, she said, “You know, this transition has been painful. It is painful for me.” When you think about it, that’s what changes, it is painful. You leave behind something that meant a lot to you, and you are now going towards something that no doubt can mean a great deal, but the letting go is the huge, huge barrier that we all have to adjust and have to deal with.
Alberta Lloyd: “Our dilemma,” as Sydney J Harris said, “Is that we hate change, and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same, but get better.” That’s having our cake and eating it too and yes, that’s exactly what we want. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to do that. We need to let go of one like the monkey bars with the child on the playground. You got to let go of one before you can adapt to, or adjust, or fully feel the strength of another.
Alberta Lloyd: John F Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” It’s comfortable looking at the past because it’s known and when you really think about it, everybody that says, “In the good old days,” when a statement starts like that, you realize that the good old days were only good when they were over. They were not always effective, they were not always the best way in the workplace that we got things done, but we knew how to get them done at that particular point.
Alberta Lloyd: There is an emotional disconnect that we have when it comes to adjusting or adapting to something new. Frequently it’s because we don’t have any plans. The past we already know, the present we don’t know much about so we experience it it moment to moment, and the future is anybody’s guess. Who’s involved? Who’s responsible? Who needs to be a participant when it comes to change? Everybody.
Alberta Lloyd: There was a time in the work world where the execs made the decision and everybody just went along, no question. Unfortunately, that style of managing, or culture if you will, a style that drove a cultural or built cultures no longer exists. Therefore, we don’t have just the executives. Everybody is involved, everybody wants to have their views heard. They want to be a part of whatever this process is that we are moving towards. Lots of people at all levels of the organization can give us insight as to what needs to occur and why.
Alberta Lloyd: From the entry level person who has a good view of his or her position, his or her participation in a process, they can give you some information that a mid level person would not be able to get. We need to have a buy-in from all levels in the organization so that everybody is a cheerleader for what’s going on throughout. Top to bottom, bottom to top, everybody needs to be a participant. Formal authority, yup, we can call somebody a VP, we can call somebody the team lead, but they alone cannot get the job done.
Alberta Lloyd: Over time we need to develop the ability to change. Everybody has to adjust, enhance, increase and fine tune their own skill set. Leaders, we use the word in the workplace, leaders are the ones who not only take charge, but they are also the ones who are responsible for understanding and accepting the consequences of what’s going on. Sometimes that’s a fear that many people have they have. People want the credit, but they don’t like the responsibility that goes along with it. However, over time you’re able to participate. You’re able to figure out how you can lead more effectively in change as we go along.
Alberta Lloyd: Change may be seen as an opportunity, it could be seen as a threat. When it’s an opportunity … It balances, there is no one way that we see it, and we don’t see every change the same way. Opportunity says we’re going to progress. We’re moving forward, it’s fun, exciting, enjoyable and beneficial for everybody that’s there. When we see it as threatening, our actions and behaviors show exactly that. We fear it, it’s aggravating, it’s a burden. I’m depressed, I’m sad, I got a headache, I don’t want to go to work anymore because I feel threatened with whatever is going on.
Alberta Lloyd: Why is it hard? It’s hard because people wear themselves out, As Chip and Dan Heath mentioned, “Change is hard because people wear themselves out. What might look like laziness or resistance to you may be just exhaustion.” People are tired of giving up one thing and moving into another without the benefit of understanding sometimes why it did not work, why it is not something that is appropriate.
Alberta Lloyd: Chip and Dan Heath said … If you’re looking for another book regarding change, Chip and Dan Heath wrote a book called Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. One of the critical things that they mentioned in their book is that you look for the bright spots. Look for things that are working. What’s working and why is it working? And more critically, can we duplicate it? How do we keep it moving? How do we keep it? How do we get it to a point where others can show or reach the same conclusion or get the same outcome?
Alberta Lloyd: The other side of it is, rather than throw it out because it’s not working, why didn’t it work? What element in whatever we did what or we attempted to implement caused it to derail? What is it that wee … What can we do to salvage some of it and move to another level? When we implement new things, it is not always a one shot deal. Sometimes we have to break it down into manageable pieces so that we get a little success and then breathe, a little success, bite off a little bit more and then breathe. All the time, we’re not able to get it all done in one swift move.
Alberta Lloyd: And finally, if you don’t like something as Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it and if you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Change the way you think about it. Attitude is everything. If I look at something and I can’t fix it, adjust it, do it differently or the old way, then I have to reverse it and figure out what piece of it or part of it can I work with? How can I position this in a light where I feel more positive about this particular change?
Alberta Lloyd: The reality is that even when I’ve given my opinion and somebody has told me, I’m sorry, has asked for my opinion, I’ve gotten feedback, I didn’t get my way, some other way is going to be done, then I have to let it go because there’s nothing else I could do but implement whatever has been decided. In order to lead changes on the inside or outside of the workplace, we need to engage in several different steps. When you take a look at leading the change or at the forefront of change, this by the way is personal as well as professional.
Alberta Lloyd: It’s awfully difficult to separate the two because the behaviors that we use in our life, our life skills we bring to work every day. We don’t get amnesia when we go through the door, but sometimes we are not given the benefit of the doubt of … We’re not given the benefit of understanding that there are other things we do outside the job that can be very helpful inside. Here are five steps that we need to do and we’re going to examine each one a little more closely before the hour is over.
Alberta Lloyd: Modeling the change is one step. You got to be able to … We’ll go into each, so I’m just going to let you take a look at it. But, the challenge with modeling the change is that should the first one. And you know what, the first one out sometimes is the one who gets … The first one out on the limb, the limb gets sawed off, so people are a little leery about that and don’t want to be first. That’s a challenge.
Alberta Lloyd: You got more attention. Everybody’s waiting to see what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen to you? Because if you survive, then you know what, I might take a step towards that as well. You’re the role model. You are definitely the person folks are going to begin to look up to. That’s pressure, that’s pressure. It’s hard to be yourself when you know the spotlight is on you.
Alberta Lloyd: The challenge is also that if you say one thing and do something else, it’s tough. People see that. That is seen very, very quickly. Again when we take a look at the change, or we take a look, let’s use children as an example. In your household if you make a statement to your children, “Don’t eat cookies before dinner,” and you eat cookies before dinner, they don’t hear what you said, they will look at what you do and then decide that it’s really okay.
Alberta Lloyd: Well, how do we fix that? What are some things we can do to adjust or meet the challenges that we’ve identified? Well, you can take [inaudible 00:27:56]. Map the objectives to your daily responsibilities. What do you need to get done and how? By when? What steps will it take? Think before you act. Don’t say it, give yourself a brief minute so that you’re able to review what action you are going to take.
Alberta Lloyd: What have you done in the past? That is, what have your behaviors looked like? Have you indeed gone against some of the stuff that you have already, some of the steps or behaviors that you are now telling people not to engage in? Look at your own past actions. Correct yourself when you can and monitor it. As much as we can, so much is going on in the workplace during the day it’s hard to do that, but we basically know the minute it comes out of your mouth of the minute you do something, I shouldn’t have done that. Adjust it, backtrack, let it be known that you know that you’re making a self correction.
Alberta Lloyd: Trust somebody enough to give you a cue when you’re doing that. If there’s someone that’s around you and there’s a behavior that you exhibit that is not productive, ask or allow someone to give you some feedback to tell you when it’s not working. A pull on the ear, adjusting a tie, touching an earring, those little subtle cues with a person that you dress can give you the information that you desperately need in order to remain effective. There are cues people communicate to us with us all the time. Sometimes we see it consciously, other times it’s unconscious.
Alberta Lloyd: Example, walking up to an individual and you walk up very quickly and come very close to them. They instantly will … Many people will instantly back up. That’s a subtle clue. That kind of tells you that you’re coming too fast, or it’s more aggressive than you meant to me. But, look at the subtle cues. Raise of the eyebrows. A lot of it is nonverbal and you know what, you I expert at nonverbals. You have the ability to read if you will.
Alberta Lloyd: The longer you have worked with a person, the more you can read their behaviors and that just means, look at those clues. Where do they choose to sit in a meeting? How are they sitting in the chair? Are they full facing you or are they angling facing you? All of that gives you that information in your gut and then you are able to see, “Mmh, something is not right.” That’s why many times we can … When a person has not raised their hand in a meeting, you are able to look at someone and say, “Oh gee, do you have a question?” You can’t say what you saw, but you knew you saw something that said, “I want your attention,” as well.
Alberta Lloyd: When we now take a look at the second one and that is communicating the change, here are the challenges. We don’t know what to say. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Being honest, or I guess the keyword at this point is transparent is something that is difficult for a lot of people, and we’ll talk about that in just a second. We don’t know what’s going to happen. People’s hopes get raised and we don’t want them to go off on a negative tangent, but that’s a challenge.
Alberta Lloyd: The information not so much going to be received well. It’s unfavorable information and that’s a challenge, and it’s more of the same. Same stuff, different day and we’ve got to figure out how to overcome that particular one. Here are some approaches that we could work with for the communicating part. As I mentioned, verbal nonverbal. Certainly, verbal, nonverbal and listening are critical keys here as well to keep in mind. Communicate with a variety of people and using a lot of different methods.
Alberta Lloyd: Golly, we have all kinds of ways now to communicate. We’ve got meetings in person, meetings through, what is it called? Skype, and FaceTime and who knows how many other things are out to communicate. we’ve got email, we’ve got all other methods of social media. Podcasts, you can do signs, bulletins. Internal media that you have you’re able to work with. What we wind up doing is that we have to take a look at all of those methods. We may not like it, it’s not what’s been done, but it may be the most effective based on the demographics of your own organization.
Alberta Lloyd: The audience increases the more channels you choose to use for communication, and it’s the same message. You’re not changing messages. Perhaps you’re changing the format or the style of it, but you’re still getting it out there to a wider number of people in the most efficient manner or instant kind of manner actually. Possible outcomes and their estimated success rates, share it. Share it when you can. There are always going to be some areas where you can’t share, but your opinion, your thoughts, encouraging them to give you their thoughts is necessary for people to feel a part of it.
Alberta Lloyd: Dictating how people feel is insulting. You don’t want to dictate. You don’t dictate, you don’t underestimate or you need not underestimate people because once you now dictate the way that they should feel, then many people believe that they are not useful or valuable in the instance and you don’t want your folks going away thinking like that. How do you get people involved? The challenges of getting others involved is that it takes too much time, there are too many opinions. Everybody’s got an opinion and some of them you don’t want to hear. Some of them you haven’t wanted to hear, but you heard them anyway and it’s distracting. It seemingly takes us away from the job at hand and we definitely need to be focused on the particular job.
Alberta Lloyd: Okay, let’s get to problem solving where we get to look at approaches that we can use in order to address this. Get people to tell you where the problems are. Get people to tell you what is wrong and why. Where is it wrong? It might be at the middle of the process that you are trying to install. It may be duplicating something, but find out where it is and then allow others, get others to give you ideas as to how to address it. If a person works on a particular process daily and you do not, they are the experts, you are not. Perhaps you did it in the past, but you no longer have the skill, the key skill that this individual might have.
Alberta Lloyd: Give everybody a chance to express [inaudible 00:36:12]. Some of them are wild and wacky and outside of the norm and out of the box but you know what, a lot of solutions are outside of the box today. All bets are off. This business game has changed a great deal and as we come for solutions, look for solutions, sometimes those solutions are out there as well. When you ask people for feedback, when you ask them for their ideas, let them know what happened to them.
Alberta Lloyd: Nothing is more frustrating than allowing individuals an opportunity to speak and them not ever knowing, tell them. Tell them what happened, why their idea was not workable. Perhaps there’s a portion of it that was usable. Perhaps it could be used later, but complete the loop. Keep the circle going so the next time they’re able to be more willing to share. A good example of this is, over the years I’ve done a great number of needs assessments and the frustrating part is, the comment is, “What did they do with what I already told them?” If nothing happened, if no mention was made, if they don’t know where it goes and it just goes kind of in a black hole, they are only going to start telling you what they think you want to know, and that becomes dangerous down the road.
Alberta Lloyd: This one is critical, practice empathetic and non-defensive listening. Listening by the way is a skill. Listening is not automatic, hearing is automatic. You hear as long as your auditory equipment if you will, is working well. Listening implies understanding. Example, if you were to sit right now and think right now, what are you thinking of? What are you thinking about? You’re listening to this session, you are hearing every word, but you’re thinking about, “Oh, got to stop by the cleaners on the way home. Got to a call this person after I get off this. Oh, I got a meeting tomorrow morning that I got to prepare for.”
Alberta Lloyd: Recognize that listening is definitely a skill. It is not one that is inactive, it is an active process. Listening so that you are gathering exactly what the person is saying is tough task. You’re not thinking about what you would like to say, why they’re wrong, and often that is what’s popping in our heads. I’m going to listen long enough until I figure out why you’re wrong and then I’m going to tell you. Empathy just simply says, give people the time they deserve. Don’t be defensive about something they’re saying. Don’t allow your own emotions to get in the way. Give people the time and the space to communicate.
Alberta Lloyd: Effective questioning is also a skill and it’s one that you need to think about. Often we get caught up in asking lots of little questions because we haven’t asked the right question. Figure out what you want to know and then shape your question rather, than throwing out lots of little tiny questions. How do you break from the past? What’s the challenge? Golly, I think the biggest one is letting go.
Alberta Lloyd: That is a challenge that we need to make sure we get on our list. I don’t have it on my list here, but that’s a huge one. Letting go is hard. The past represents something. It represents a comfort level of some sort. It’s kind of like, let’s put it in a personal situation. It’s cleaning out your own stuff at home. It’s cleaning out that closet. It’s letting go of memories, it’s cleaning up the clutter. You know you want to do it, you know you need the space, you know it shouldn’t be there, but it’s just stuff so letting it go is very, very, very hard.
Alberta Lloyd: The other challenge is that everything’s going good, we’re still making money, we’re still getting the job done so it’s great. You’re going to upset the apple cart, you going to create problems and just cause a lot of frustration, so creating turbulence. We want to maintain the status quo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why do we have to do it? If it’s all working, you’re just messing it up. You know what, those sacred cows are critical to a lot of people, it’s tradition. It’s tradition and when we mess with tradition, we’ve got some emotion that goes along with it.
Alberta Lloyd: How do you help people do that? Well, let’s see. What can we do? We can play devil’s advocate, what if? Those kinds of statements will help. What if we did change the process? What’s the worst thing that’ll happen? What it we talked to the client or the customer about rescheduling work that they want to get done? What’s the worst case? Use something that will be symbolic to the people in the environment that shows you’re willing to let go of the past.
Alberta Lloyd: Unfortunately what happens is that once we implement something and it’s beginning not to work, we fall back into what we used to do. How do you now come up with something that we need to come up with something so that individuals when they break with the past, it is a huge symbol? For many companies as an example, if they’ve merged or if they have gone into another line of business, changing their logo, letting go of a mascot, the style in which you communicate information, the letterhead is changed.
Alberta Lloyd: Support innovation. Allow innovation to help move forward, help your change happen. I think Google does a good job of that. Most logos are sacred cows. Google has a way that they allow their employees to change their logo according to holidays, or historical events. It’s a delight to go to their website just to see what they’ve done on a particular day. So, rather than condemning someone who is working with or adjusting something that we believe is sacred, we now allow and give an invitation to people to share with us their own ideas that could indeed move us to the direction, move us to the point that we want to be.
Alberta Lloyd: There’s lots of wild ideas. Who knows like I said earlier, as I said earlier, wild ideas, it’s outside of the box. Yep, outside of the box but you know what could be fun? It has the potential for your answers, it has potential to work and I can’t think of any wild idea that probably some company has not utilized at a point. Everything from carnivals in the inside or allowing people as I said, with Google messing or changing their logo on a continuous basis. You want improvement all the time. It’s not something that just stops. We don’t improve and get to the point and that’s the end of the story. We want to recognize that individuals grow. Companies, clients, customers, taste, everything grows and changes so we need to work with it.
Alberta Lloyd: Last one is that, what are the challenges in the learning environment? How do you create a supportive one? Well, some of the difficulty. Got to try something new, that’s not always in the cards. Making mistakes, you have to understand what your company culture is, though and we’ll talk about that as an approach or part of the approach. Risk taking needs to be supported. Punishing trial and error, that’s where risk taking comes in. If the risks work in many companies, that’s wonderful. If the risks don’t work and something happens to the person who stuck their neck out, made the suggestion or demonstrated in action and they’re punished for it, then risk taking is not something that is going to be done by your employees.
Alberta Lloyd: How do we approach this? What do we do to help this? What we need to do is, we need to focus attention on the problem correction. We need to take a look at realizing that we don’t know everything. When we want to create the learning environment, we want to create a supportive environment, the tangible approach is, include declaring a way that you can practice. Declaring some kind of a way that you can support time for training. You want the results focus and you want the time pressure to be a thing in the past, that’s the challenge.
Alberta Lloyd: Now we have the problem solving steps, which include taking a look at how we support training. Often we send people to training classes such as this, and they come back with valuable data, which you may have found some in here, and then there’s no time for them to utilize it. If that’s the case, then over, and over, and over, individuals will take information that helps them personally and perhaps increase their skill set, but they won’t necessarily utilize it for the business as well.
Alberta Lloyd: People are good at finding problems. I believe that the majority of people are good at problem identification. We need problem correction and to a teach a skill that says, “Okay fine, if you think that that is a major issue, if you believe that that is something that we need to pay attention to, what are your thoughts? How do we deal with that? What can be done to fix it?” Then admit that you don’t have all the answers. Whether it’s senior level, whether it’s the entry level, whether it’s mid level. I may be the team lead, but I don’t know all the right things to do. I rely on others around me to provide information that is going to be that is going to be helpful, or that will help me get to the point.
Alberta Lloyd: In quick review, we have now areas that could be classes in themselves, webinar on their own. You’ve got a model to change, walk the talk and talk the talk. Involve others in the change and as you’re involving others in the change, you have to open up and make people feel as though their opinions matter. Make them understand that they count and they are valuable, that you want them on the team and that their input is useful for you.
Alberta Lloyd: Communicating about the change, recognizing that you have lots and lots of ways to communicate, consistently utilize it. It’s like any other strategy that you use. One time won’t give you the answer. Multiple times, so a 30 day, or a 60 day implementation stage could be very, very helpful to communicate in all the ways I mentioned earlier that we can give information specific to the change that we’re looking to implement.
Alberta Lloyd: Helping to break from the past, biggie, biggie. We need to talk with other people, we need to talk to other people. We need to give them opportunities to understand that things are not always the way they were. The past is good in its place, but it is not something that we can necessarily utilize or benefit from today. We don’t forget it, but we don’t necessarily have to depend on it as well.
Alberta Lloyd: Creating a supportive learning environment. $10 million question, but that is a huge one. How do you do it? Keeping it open, keeping the environment willing to support new learnings means that you are constantly, you’re not resting on your laurels. You’re moving in a direction to achieve higher outcomes that are important to your organization as well.
Alberta Lloyd: Finally, it starts with individuals realizing that they bring themselves together. Once they get together, they make great teams and as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” All of us have the opportunity to do that. Even though our changes, some could be very, very small, some could be overwhelming and some really do impact the world, but it starts with individuals who make up the organizations that we are parts of. It works on all levels. Whether you are looking at this from a personal standpoint, whether you’re looking at this from a professional standpoint, change is a journey that we’re all on.
Alberta Lloyd: The weather changes daily, we adjust and adapt. We may mumbling grumble but you know what? Mother Nature doesn’t care, she keeps on rolling so it’s going to happen, just as change will. Change is going to continually occur regardless of whether we like it or whether we don’t. It’s not easy, it’s not easy, but it’s continuous and you know what, the journey, it’s sure worth it.
Alberta Lloyd: Thank you so much. I hope that there are some things if you do as Sara mentioned, I’m going to give it back to Sara. If there are some questions you have, please make sure to let her know and I’ll be glad to offer the response. I appreciate your time. It’s been a plum pleasing pleasure as a favorite disc jockey of mine says here, to spend the last hour with you. I do hope you found something in here that might be helpful and useful to you and your organization as you go into this wonderful area, deliberately changing the organization.
Sara Lindmont: Thank you so much Alberta, that was great. If you do have any questions for Alberta, please use your chat window in the GoToWebinar control panel. Send those into us now and we will share the responses with the audience by email as we’re a little short on time today. Before everyone hits, please consider HRDQ for your training needs. We publish research based experiential learning products that you can deliver in your organization. Check out our online or print self assessments, our up-out-of-your-seat games, our reproducible workshops that you can customize and more. Either check out our website or give our customer service team a call.
Sara Lindmont: If you do need help with a learning program and you want either an expert trainer to deliver it for you or you’d like some trainer, we also provide those services as well. We do look forward to being your soft skills training resource. That is all the time we have for today. Thank you again Alberta for sharing your expertise.