Skills Needed for Leading Change

by Kate Stringer; Updated September 26, 2017
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Change is a vital factor in the success of any individual, institution, organization or business. It may be difficult to bring about change in a business where employees, upper management, board members and customers must be taken into consideration in implementing changes. Those leading through times of change must develop skills to successfully oversee that change.

Goal-Setting Skills for Leading Change

To successfully lead an organization through a process of change, a leader must be able to keep in mind the goal and mission of the changes. Seeing the big picture, he must be able to set goals and deadlines to accomplish the vision for change. A good leader must develop the ability to see how the small pieces work together to fulfill the larger purposes and inspire employees to join in the effort.

Organizational Skills for Leading Change

When leading change in an organization, it is necessary to develop organizational skills to keep track of changes to be made, timelines for implementing procedural changes, and people or clients affected by these changes. Leading through change requires the ability to delegate some responsibilities to others, so develop the ability to relinquish control of some aspects of the process to trusted employees. Give oversight if needed, but allow others the opportunity to push, develop and prove themselves.

Interpersonal Skills for Leading Change

Carefully handling relationships is critical to successfully implement organizational change. It is also important to maintain good and open relationships with other members of management, board members, and clients. Treat individuals with kindness and respect and accommodate their needs when possible. When it is necessary to be firm and stick to decisions, do so with kindness and an awareness of how it will affect all involved.

Listening Skills

A leader should listen to concerns, frustrations and ideas from employees and give consideration as he makes plans and sets goals. It is easy to alienate workers by brushing over their needs and thoughts, so remember that they are a vital part of making successful change in an organization. Demonstrate good listening skills by making eye contact, leaning forward in interest, asking questions for clarification and genuinely engaging your mind to understand. Even if people do not agree with the final decision, they are more likely to continue to fulfill their role in implementing the decision if they feel that their input has been carefully considered.

About the Author

As a writer, Kate Stringer has covered topics in insurance, health, nutrition, environment and education, among others. She received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a Master of Music from Bob Jones University. Stringer continues to pursue coursework in areas such as English, philosophy, music and health/safety.

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