How to Develop a Change-Adept Workforce

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There are 6 qualities common to those who thrive on change. Here’s how to develop these qualities in the people who report to you.

Quality #1: Confidence The personality trait most responsible for the ability to deal well with change is self- confidence. Strategy: Play to people’s strengths Stop focusing on building up weaknesses. Instead, identify and build on those competencies and accomplishments that make someone special.

Quality #2: Challenge In fast-moving, high-stress business environments, a positive, upbeat, “can-do" attitude is vital for success. Strategy: Nurture people’s optimism While it is important to acknowledge the stress, uncertainty, and disruption that change brings, it is also crucial to emphasize the opportunities for growth, challenge, and reward.

Quality #3: Coping Change-adept employees are able to cope with and adapt to a complex, fast-paced reality. Strategy: Lighten up! Rather than bracing for the inevitable pressure, remember to bring a sense of humor and spirit of fun to the workplace to cushion all that rolling with the punches.

Factor #4: Counterbalance People with interests beyond their professions and organizations are more resilient under stress and more effective on the job. Strategy: Let people get a life! Encourage your staff to compensate for the demands and pressure of work by developing counterbalancing activities in other areas of their life.

Factor #5: Creativity Creative people embrace changing business conditions that expose them to new knowledge, new people, and new experiences. Strategy: Honor people’s “inner genius” Remember that everyone was born with a creative capacity that needs to be nurtured and engaged.

Factor #6: Collaboration A new workplace reality is that none of us can succeed alone. Strategy: Build your collaboration skills You can't command and control collaboration and teamwork. But you can influence others to collaborate and share their ideas by creating an environment in which it is safe, enjoyable, and beneficial to do so.

Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph. D. coaches executives, facilitates management retreats, helps change teams develop strategies, and delivers keynote speeches and seminars to association and business audiences around the world. Carol is the author of nine books, including “This Isn’t the Company I Joined” – How to Lead in a Business Turned Upside Down. She can be reached by phone: 510-526-1727, email:, or through her website:


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