Asking questions is a great way to enhance your ability to think. Simply asking better questions can cause us to engage our imaginations or focus our minds. It enables us to generate more ideas, eliminate barriers and unearth hidden concerns. Question-asking is a great tool to use when going through change. It can help us discover insights, explore new possibilities and accelerate results. Try asking some of these questions to help your organisations through change.
1. How could we possibly involve others?
At times of change, many people can experience adverse reactions. Often they don’t feel engaged and may feel powerless due to a perceived, or real, lack of control. Try to take some time with other senior leaders to think of possible ways you could involve others. Getting your people engaged and giving them a feeling of involvement and control can often motivate them and counteract those negative reactions too.
2. How could we possibly help people adjust to change?
It’s important to recognise that change isn’t just about the roll-out of a new process or a different way of doing things. People have to make their own internal adjustments too. For some people it may mean understanding that some of the things in their comfort zone will be coming to an end and it’s time to ‘let go’. Leaders can help their people think about this phase of ‘transition’ as an opportunity for exploration, discovery and reinvention.
3. How consistent is our communication?
Sometimes communication at times of change can be sporadic and inconsistent – one person saying one thing and someone else saying something completely different. This lack of consistency can cause confusion. It isn’t just about having all the written messages aligned within the organisation. It’s also about senior leaders speaking with the one voice. Think about what could possibly be done to make your communication more consistent.
4. What can we do to help people move through the transition?
It’s all about the people factor! If people can’t make the transition in their own minds, it’s far more likely that it will take longer for change to happen, if at all. This question is really worth asking early on in the process. If people are left alone to adapt to change, they’re far more likely to experience a negative reaction. On the other hand, if an organisation looks after its people then adjusting to change could become a much quicker and easier process.
Three things you can do now
1. Use these questions and relate them to the change that you and your organisation are going through.
2. Create a bank of your own questions to dig a little deeper – you may unearth something critical to your success.
3. Don’t just stop at asking your senior leaders, sound out a wide group of people from across the organisation. The wider you cast your net, the more ideas you’ll have to choose from.