greytogreen turns unexpected and "unwelcome" change into new leadership opportunities in the customer service department of a public institution.
I was informed of an upcoming reorganization well in advance. I expected the productivity and motivation of my teams to suffer as soon as the first rumors leaked out: the classical reaction of people to change is insecurity and fear – energies are invested in speculation, blaming and complaining. In order to maintain a high quality of service for our customers, I decided to look for a way to strengthen the resilience of my coworkers, before I talked to them about the reorganization.
We invited the manager to first participate separately in a greytogreen workshop, to give him a fuller understanding of the process and potential outcomes, before he enrolled his team.
After the workshop, the manager organized a greytogreen workshop with his team, where he shared what he knew about the changes, and the reasons for them. Each team member was able to examine and express their own insecurities with regards to the planned changes in a constructive way, and in a safe, non-challenging environment.
A few weeks after the workshop, the manager formally informed his team of the changes lying ahead and discussed the situation with them using their common greytogreen vocabulary and process. Under his leadership, they confronted the reorganization together.
The greytogreen workshop enabled all team members to develop a better understanding of their own thought mechanisms and autopilot reactions. Participants realized that they had a choice in how they chose to view the planned changes and that they could influence their own reality. Having gotten to know each other on a deeper level, the whole team was able to adopt a “yes we can” attitude, fostered by mutual support.
When individuals discover their capacity to change their own perception and thus their own attitude they can deal with change effectively, both in their professional and personal life. When an entire team does this together, they can actively shape future outcomes. The leader enabled his team to be leaders.