Facilitating Change


Encouraging others to seek and act upon opportunities for different and innovative approaches to addressing problems and opportunities; critically analyzing evolving and fluid situations; facilitating the implementation and acceptance of change within the workplace; actively engaging with resistance to change. Click here for associated skills and behaviors.

Ways to Demonstrate this Skill

Development Activities

§         Challenge yourself and others to review and question the effectiveness of the status quo.


§         Brainstorm with others and identify a list of things that could be done differently in your unit. Ask everyone not to judge the ideas until the end of the brainstorming session.

§         Think about whether your actions are consistent with your message about change. For example, do you ask others to question established work practices but continue to reward those who don’t examine new ways of doing things or accept new ideas?


§         Encourage and support new and innovative thinking.

·         Remain open to others’ ideas.

·         Encourage diverse thinking.

·         Recognize and reward useful ideas and changes.


§         Reward innovation even if a venture is unsuccessful.  Seek to have all learn from these efforts.

§         Provide opportunities for the team or the organization to learn from external people who have different ideas and experience.

§         Brainstorm and explore options with people when they say something can’t be done. Encourage them to think imaginatively.

§         Set up formal and informal ways to reward people for embracing change.


§         Model good change management behavior by:

·         Proactively discussing change and the benefits of change when appropriate.

·         Cooperating with change efforts throughout CARE by taking appropriate action and speaking positively about change.

·         Offering to lead or help lead change efforts.


§         Observe others at CARE who identify opportunities for change and manage the change process effectively. Identify strategies you can use.

§         Ask for feedback from others who have direct knowledge of your effort to manage change.

§         Assess your own actions during past changes. Evaluate what you did successfully to manage the change.


§         Clarify direction and smooth the process of change:

·         Explain the need for change, along with the objectives and intent behind a change effort.

·         Reduce complexity.

·         Avoid or minimize contradictions.

·         Provide encouragement and support during a long, complex or painful change process.


§         Think of ways to explain the benefits of change to head off resistance.

§         Formulate a clear, simple way to communicate the purpose of a change and its process.


§         Act to reduce peoples’ resistance to change:

·         Find out what is causing resistance to a change.

·         Help individuals understand and overcome their own reluctance to change.

·         Identify what particular aspect of change is most difficult for those involved.

·         Show empathy for people who are experiencing loss because of a change.

§         Assess your own reactions to past changes. Evaluate what caused your resistance, and how you successfully overcame it.

§         List those who will be affected by change and note how they will be affected. Think of ways to make them feel comfortable with change.

§         Plan ways of listening and responding with empathy to people who will lose status or authority due to a change.

§         Address concerns that grow out of anxiety created by change.



Developmental Resources


     If you find workshops and/or web-based training a good way for you to learn and develop, and there are funds available, look for opportunities that address the following:

§         Rewarding people for their ideas.

§         Dealing with resistance to change.

§         Communicating complex messages in a clear, simplified manner.



§         Evaluating all ideas before making a decision.

§         Involving others in developing solutions.

§         Rewarding and retaining talent during change.


     The following books are resources on initiating action:

     Anderson, D. and Anderson, L.A. (2001). Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

     Anderson, L.A. (2001). The Change Leader’s Roadmap. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

     Axelrod, R.H. (2000). Terms of Engagement: Changing the Way we Change Organizations. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

     Bennett, J.L. (2000). Leading the Edge of Change: Building Individual and Organizational Capacity for the Evolving Nature of Change. Mooresville, NC: Paw Print Press.

     Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

     Gorman, C.K. and Manber, B. (1993). Adapting to Change: Making It Work for You. Crisp Publications (www.crisplearning.com).

     Hultman, K. (1998). Making Change Irresistible: Overcoming Resistance to Change in Your Organization. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.

     Kouzes, J. and Posner, B.Z. (1999) Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Management Series.

     Laszlo, C., & Laugel, J. (2000). Large Scale Organizational Change: An Executive’s Guide. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

     Pendlebury, J., Meston, F., & Grouard, B. (1998). The Ten Keys to Successful Change Management. Chichester, NY: Wiley.

     Scott, C.D. and Crisp, M. (1995). Managing Change at Work: Leading People through Organizational Transitions. Crisp Publications (www.crisplearning.com).




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