Leading Change = Helping Me Understand Why Written by Shawn Bakker, Lead Psychologist What is the most common question people ask when faced with change? The answer is Why? This “why” question has many variations: Why this? Why now? Why me? Why us? Why not another option? Being able to respond to these questions is necessary to help people understand and recognize why the change is necessary. Doing so isn’t as hard as you might think. The information that people look for, and the reasons behind the change, are easily addressed given what we know about personality differences. When you can speak to each of these key differences you will effectively communicate the needs and goals of change initiatives. You will also cover the necessary bases to ensure that the change is well thought out. To effectively answer the “Why?” questions you receive, make sure that you cover each of the four bases below. Share the Macro – Intuition Give the big picture – the global situation that explains why the change needs to be made. Include the overall plan, and the flow. Share the Micro – Sensing Give specific data about what is not working and how the proposed changes will respond to that. Include the how, when, and who information with explicit attention to detail. Win Hearts – Feeling Explain the values that drive the change plans and invite discussion of values or people you’ve overlooked. Clarify how the needs of people during the change will be addressed. Win Minds – Thinking Give the logic behind the changes, including the alternatives you considered, with the pros and cons, and invite critique. Clarify the fair and equitable way changes will be implemented.