Difficult conversations: an example of group facilitation
Engaging with emotions is an integral part of achieving true, sustainable organisational change. It’s not everyone’s favourite part of transformation but it’s a necessary element of successful change. Leaders who lack the confidence to tackle conflict or difficult behaviours will often shy away from it, choosing instead to keep the bad news from people for as long as possible. And while this may be done with the best of intentions, it does not help the situation.
Providing ‘behavioural support’ is a more productive and successful approach to change than that of ‘resistance management’. Engaging people in the early stages of any issues or problems facing the organisation, is a much easier road to travel in the long-term, than trying to get ‘buy-in’ for a solution that people have no prior knowledge of, and have had no say in.
The Change Executive worked with a courageous leader of a team that was undergoing structural changes. The department’s way of working was being turned upside down and the existing organisational structure simply wasn’t the right one to fulfill the needs of the future.
The department was faced with two options: use external support to develop the ‘optimal’ structure, which would be presented to the team for consultation, or they could take the seemingly difficult step of engaging the leadership team in the issues and co-design of the optimal future together.
The Change Executive developed and facilitated a series of workshops to explore the structural change options. At mid-point in the journey together, it became clear that fewer senior roles would be needed in the future, and emotions and tensions understandably started to show.
Having an experienced and empathetic facilitator in the room allowed the leader to retain confidence and maintain an open and transparent process, in which we were able to engage with the team and work through the challenging behaviours. This allowed human responses to organisational change to occur naturally and honestly, without judgment.
As a result of the workshops, the team has been an integral part of shaping the change process. In return, leaders are able to confidently communicate with their teams in a consistent manner, and with a greater awareness of their own personal situation and choices for the future.
What the client says: