Change is the only constant. We often hear this but how many of us actually look into it? How well do we actually manage change?Recently, I read an article by Dr. Geil Browning on how to lead your company through change, and found it interesting how each person feels about a new situation. People manage change differently. Some can accept changes willingly while others find it more challenging to do so. Each has their preferred way of looking at it. What is more important is how we help one another adjust and manage change well.

For example, a person in the third-third of the flexibility spectrum who prefers an accommodating approach to change, may tend to be more accepting and welcoming to changes while a person in the first-third who prefers a focused approach, may tend to pull back and not waver on what was previously implemented or discussed.

It is important to remember that those in the first-third of flexibility aren’t open to change. I once heard it described as the difference between “turning on a dime” and “turning on a quarter”. It just takes more for those in the first-third to come around to the new change.

With Emergenetics we take into consideration both the thinking and behavioural preferences of others. This is significant because we’ll be able to use the strengths of our preferences to help us in areas where we might not have a preference. Hence, we can assist each other in managing change, such as by helping the person in the first-third of the flexibility spectrum to better understand the reasoning for the change based on their preferred thinking preferences.

Here are some tips for the different attributes in the context of managing change in a project:

  • Analytical thinker: explain the pros and cons, and benefits, justify the reasons for the change
  • Structural thinker: provide a clear timeline and plan, create a new checklist towards the goal of the project
  • Social thinker: share how this change can positively affect each other and how each person can play their part
  • Conceptual thinker: allow them to throw in more ideas, concepts and brainstorming
  • Expressiveness: allow individuals in the quiet end of the spectrum to have more time digesting the changes, allow individuals in the gregarious end to discuss their views
  • Assertiveness: allow individuals in the peacekeeping end of the spectrum to pen down their opinions, allow individuals in the driving end to propose alternatives
  • Flexibility: provide individuals in the focused end of the spectrum with positive values of the change, individuals in the accommodating end will generally be more acceptable to change

By understanding each other’s thinking and behavioural uniqueness we will be in a better position to help each other through changes without assuming that everyone’s response will be the same.

As team leaders, these insights give us an advantage in managing our teams – helping each person adapt to change more easily and willingly, resulting in greater success, happier team members and stronger, more positive results.

by Geraldine Quek, Emergenetics