Team resists new vision

January 19, 2011
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , , , — jonimar @ 10:03 am

Q: After being in the role of CEO for six months, my executive team continues to resist my vision. I recognize a change in leadership requires an adjustment period. But they agreed to the new direction, so I feel angry and betrayed by them. How do I get them to do what I need to move my initiatives forward?

A: The answer probably lies in your question. You clearly own the vision. Your team must, too. Your commanding style of leadership may be alienating them. They could be resisting you, not your vision.

Try a collaborative approach. Shift your attitude from me and mine to us and we, making room for them to share with you. Begin by being genuinely curious about their perspectives, opinions and recommendations. Switch from telling them what you want to asking them what they suggest.

Encourage and incorporate their input wherever possible. If you continually resist their ideas, they will feel disempowered, quickly disengage and will probably start resisting you, too.

Your team needs to feel included, trusted and supported. Give them recognition and credit, point out what they are doing well. They will likely respond more favourably once you value their unique abilities and contribution.

See things from their vantage point. Demonstrate empathy for their role of integrating a new strategy with staff’s current reality.

Perhaps you moved to action before establishing solid alignment on the vision, goals and methods. Clarify the vision, set outcomes, and targets then give them the latitude to run with it.

Solicit their feedback on your leadership. Make the necessary changes in you so they willingly move forward with you at the helm. It is easier to adapt your style than your entire teams’.

Originally published in The Province, January 16, 2011.


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