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Leadership: Sharing The Shared Experience Of Change Management
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"I often pontificate about leadership," I said hoping that Kyle and Dawn would not know that I had just stolen a word I heard Bill O'Reilly use a number of times the evening before on a cable show.

"Pontificate? Aren't you the educated one?" said Dawn.

My face burned. "Well, I like to show that my advanced education was not a total waste," I said happy that she had not gotten my source.

Kyle laughed with us. Then she said (yes, Kyle is a woman), "He gets it from watching that show on FOX. Trying to impress us little people."

"I did steal it from there," I said, "but I had never used it before. I wanted to try it out. Thanks for being so understanding. I won't be using that word again." I smiled broadly to let them know that I was not hurt.

They sat back in unison, crossed their arms and their body language asked me to continue.

I have been a senior leader in health care for more than 20 years. During that time health care has never ceased to change and I have found that sharing feelings, concerns, and hopes is a great way to deal with change management.

"As I was saying before I was so rudely interupted," I said showing my peacock feathers in an animated way to keep the mood light, "I like to talk about leadership."

They both smiled without showing their teeth.

"I find it especially helpful in the hospital setting," I said undeterred by their toothless grins. "You see health care is constantly changing...at least it has during my 20-plus years, and I have always reacted the same way anytime any big initiative or regulatory change has been imposed." I searched their eyes to be sure that I had their attention. I did but I let the silence linger a bit before closing, "I paniced and went running about yelling that the sky was falling.

They both laughed.

"You laugh, but I am serious. I was, and continue to be, a total panic when these changes are imposed," I said.

Kyle spoke first, "You don't ever show it."

Dawn nodded.

"That's because as I have learned to do my initial panic dance privately. I get all my anxiety out behind closed doors."

They looked questioningly at one another.

"It's true," I continued. "I bounce of the walls at first, but then after I let the information sink in, I realize that it won't be so bad."

They nodded to one another and me.

"So, now that I have told you how I feel, why don't you tell me how you feel."

And they did. As a leader, when dealing with change management, it is often a good idea to share some personal thoughts and fears of your own first. Every sharing moment does not have to be one defined by courage. This creates an environment where others will be more likely to share their input too. Getting things out in the open can help a team transition through change more effectively. Remember that sometimes as a leader you simply need to directthe conversation, and this can be done by sharing relevent thoughts and feelings. This article took a look at a benign issue, but the larger the issue, the more important sharing of yourself becomes.

I hope that you found this article helpful and maybe a little entertaining. If you did, then please comment to me and share it with others. I love to get feedback and engage in dialogue.

Thanks for reading.


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  about 7 years ago
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