Move People One Step Closer

As a leader, one of the biggest things you do is effect change. You help teams accomplish new goals, initiatives, projects, and results. You encourage people to achieve what they didn’t think possible and coach them along the way.


I bet you can think of a time when you effected change, delivered results, and helped people grow. I imagine that along with the memory comes a degree of well-deserved pride and a sense of accomplishment. 


I also bet you can think of instances when your efforts to move change forward were met with resistance – perhaps sizeable resistance. In those situations, your best intentions and actions can get sidetracked and trampled by opposition to change. 


There is always a degree of support and resistance for every effort you undertake. There will likely be team members who strongly favor the initiative and jump on board and others who openly (or passively) oppose it. The same is true for stakeholders impacted directly or indirectly by your plans.


Many leaders attempt to convert every naysayer into an avid supporter when met by resistance. Although this conversion effort seems laudable, it’s a bit of a fool’s errand. Simply put, some resisters will never become strong supporters regardless of your efforts. There’s no degree of wooing that will convince them to get fully on the bandwagon. 


Wise leaders understand this reality and recognize that the game is not won by getting every stakeholder to become a strong supporter but by moving everyone one step closer. They work to move someone who is opposed to a spot of neutrality on the issue. Or, they attempt to move a neutral party to a position of supporting the effort. 


For any initiative, you undertake, moving people one step closer on the continuum of support can be the difference between an idea struggling and dying or soaring and succeeding.  


This week’s worksheet will help you think about the changes you are trying to affect. Use it to identify various stakeholders, assess where they currently stand, reflect on why they are, and determine where you’d like to move them to and how you will make it happen. This worksheet will take time to complete, but it will be some of the best time you can invest as it will help you move people one step closer.


Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

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