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How To Lead Others Through Change

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If I asked you to complete the following sentence with just one word what word would you choose?

Change is_____.

Your answer may run the full gamut from change is good or change is bad. You may describe change as challenging or difficult or exciting or scary. Ultimately the most accurate and universal answer of all is quite simply.. Change is inevitable

Change is taking place - - like it or not. 

My question to you is: How important is it to you to have an understanding of how you respond to change, and how others around you (boss, team, coworkers) respond to that change?

In today’s podcast, I will share with you what I believe to be specific steps you can take to effectively lead others through change and steps for leading yourself through change. 

So here are a few considerations I believe are important for you as an emerging leader:

  • People experience change differently.
  • When change does happen it's oftentimes accompanied by poor communications.

While working at The Coca-Cola Company,  I was in a  chief of staff role for the Business Innovation group, a brand new 30-plus person team that was charged with identifying new revenue streams beyond the classic beverage offerings. We faced a range of considerations with launching this group:

  1. How to engage with the existing business units 
  2. How to determine the processes to put in place to support the goals of our group 
  3. How to get engagement by some of the support groups
  4. How to keep the team members engaged and motivated to be productive on this journey into the unknown. 

What I learned through that process was the importance of leading others through the journey of change. 

That included a level of preparedness for handling objections, anticipating resistance, listening, listening and listening. This process of leading change involves a healthy degree of self-confidence in navigating ambiguity.

So when you are tasked with leading others through a period of change, here are some steps you can take to help employees weather the change and respond positively to what is to come:

  • Give advance consideration to what the employees want to know.
  • Acknowledge the sense of loss.
  • Provide clear and regular communication
  • Solicit input.
  • Focus on the future

Here are steps on how to help yourself, first,  as a leader: 

  1. Check in with your mentor to gain Insight on their experience for leading others through change.
  2. Reach out to your HR representatives for support and assistant
  3. Have the clarity you want and need by having conversations with your boss
  4. Be self-aware

Coach Mo knows (a tip, coaching question and bit of inspiration)


Register for the online course: Change Management HBR-ManageMentor 

As they describe on the registration page, the online course which costs @$50 provides practical advice for implementing, managing, and communicating change in your organization. It includes steps to help your unit or organization become change-ready and planning tools to address resistance to change efforts.

Coaching Question

How will you benefit by having increased clarity on how you respond to change?

How will those you work with benefit by you having clarity on how you respond to change?


A mediocre person tells.

A good person explains.

A superior person demonstrates.

A great person inspires others to see for themselves. 

~ Harvey Mackay

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