The pace of change in our world is increasing.
In some ways, leaders may be excited about the change. After all, change brings with it the promise of new opportunities and better results. However, for many in an organization, change strikes fear.
How will it affect my daily role? Should I be concerned about my future?
One of my friends told me:
“If someone is going to effectively lead change, they need to turn up the care.”
His statement painted a vivid image in my mind of a physical care dial that needs to be turned up. It’s like taking the volume setting and turning up a few notches or cranking up the thermostat a few degrees.
When your team is in the middle of an important transition, they need more care, not less.
You might be trying to implement a new strategy, asking them to do something uncomfortable, shifting the style of your work, changing their job descriptions, or reorganizing their positions in your organization.
All of these require an increase in the care shown toward them.
Why does this matter? Because when people feel cared for, they are far more willing to follow.
In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey explains that the speed at which an organization can change is directly correlated to the level of trust within that organization. In other words, the more that people trust each other, the more quickly people will move toward a proposed change. If someone believes (trusts) that their leader’s intentions are pure, that they act for the good of their employees, volunteers, or church members, they are more willing to endure discomfort for a season as they adjust to change.
So, if trust is essential to helping any group change and grow, how can we improve that trust? It all goes back to care. The pace of change in our world is increasing. (Genuine being the operative word!)
Practically caring for people can look drastically different depending on the relationship and situation.
It might be taking the time to write one volunteer a note each week, expressing your appreciation for their hard work.
Maybe it’s sending a personal text message to the team member that you saw go out of their way to accomplish the goal.
It could be providing a bonus or recognition to the individuals that put in hours outside of work to complete a big project that helped your business to grow.
In your family, it could be encouraging your children when they are kind and generous to their siblings without being asked.
Don’t misunderstand this: Caring should not be a strategy you employ to manipulate or coerce individuals into doing what you want. Instead, caring for your people should be a habit and a posture you adopt every single day.
Then, when you’re making moves, changing things, and experiencing substantial shifts, in those seasons you should double down and increase that care, so people are simply reminded of what they already know to be true.