Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ten Steps to Facilitating Positive Change

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. 

~ Wayne Dyer

Do you want to create positive change, and you know people are resistant?

Often people are less hesitant about change than they are frustrated with the way change is presented/communicated or not presented/communicated.

While life, and business are not full consensus experiences, it is smart and wise, inclusive and important to sincerely want, and get, input from others involved.

What is a good way to do that? Because Noncritical thinking is limited thinking, emotional thinking is not critical thinking, and often noncritical emotional thinking is distorted thinking, you want to engage in creative and critical thinking for this by facilitating the following:

1.      Gather people who have experience, exposure AND expertise to have a variety of perspectives, and ensure all people invited to participate do not look like, think like, and act like the leader (or you, if you are the one advancing this effort).

2.      In order to ensure people come in with the best sense and knowledge, in the invitation to participate, do share that while there is a situation, you are looking to define the mistake, opportunity, issue, or problem proactively, realistically, and without a blame mentality so as to move forward with good results, the ultimate decision will be that of yours, or if there is a smaller group making the decision, if there will not be finality in what is done at that meeting.

3.      Because people can want their idea to “win”, ensure what you are seeking is what is BEST for the company/group, and that it is not about who came up with what, it is about what is BEST for your team, or organization, and address any questions about that idea before moving forward to avoid a lot of “I think we should…” conversations/

4.      Respecting you may think the facts are clear, get the group to discuss and reach agreement on what the topic really is, what situation you are addressing, and therefore get the challenge/opportunity stated clearly with full agreement.

5.     With the challenge/opportunity in mind, get a statement of focus, and in that process, determine if the challenge/opportunity is problem or issue, a miss or a mistake? Problems have solutions, issues have fixes. Misses have hits (points to address), mistakes have corrections. Getting language clear means the elevation of urgency and importance will follow.

6.     To stimulate discussion and open communication, there are a few ways to generate free-flow sharing of ideas without judgement, including:

a.      You become the scribe by writing each idea shared

b.     Asking very few questions to limit what may feel like judgement

c.      Getting the input through one of these two facilitation approaches:

                             i. OPTION 1: Pair, Share & Compare is where two or three people are in a group to privately offer their ideas with a spokesperson stating 2-4 options following time for all to discuss in groups. At the end of that time, you record and wait for step 7.

                             ii. OPTION 2: Reflect & Select is the process by which one person volunteers and then chooses each person after  - as the leader/scribe you ask questions: “Tell me more, walk me through,  how would that look/play out”.

7.      Selection and prioritization includes asking things such as “Tell me more, walk me through, how would that look/play out” by you first if you used OPTION 1, and if not, you move to open question period for all ideas shared. This is imperative that the questions be WHAT and HOW question to advance the idea without participants shutting down an idea at this point.

8.      Reiterate the purpose is ensuring what you are seeking is what is BEST for what is happening/presented and restate the opportunity/situation as the problem, issue, miss, mistake clearly, and then ask for either votes or preferences by providing people 2-4 “votes” cast with dots on the sheets where you have scribed the ideas, or voting on a sheet, or whatever non-threatening, open approach you want to take to narrow the ideas to no more than 4 total, preferably 2, 3 or 4 options.

9.      Open discussion around those final options.

10.   To make certain the next steps are clear, either:

a.      Determine the direction right then, and assign authority, responsibility and timeline.

b.      If that group is not the final decision-making entity, inform who will decide, when, and how the group will receive communication, and from what person.

When you are willing to invest the time and energy in people and ideas, you can create and communicate change in a way that is forward-focused, welcomed, and clear in the reason it is being implemented!



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