Relationships Matter When Leading Change

Building relationships isn’t a distraction from the work – it IS the work. 

Leading people and leading change requires providing a clear destination, guiding people to align, and supporting them to get where they need to go.

No matter the type or size of the change, each individual will be called upon to change how they think and act. Therefore, the success of any change initiative often comes down to how well we can lead individuals to make the necessary changes to their thinking and behaviour.

For someone to fully accept our advice, ideas, and assistance, they must first know that we understand their situation, needs, and desired outcomes. They also need to trust that we will offer them a solution that is in their best interests, not just our own.

Getting to know and understand people is essential for supporting them and helping them navigate change. When we get to know and understand people, we learn about their thoughts, feelings, challenges, opportunities, needs, motivators, and the systems in which they operate.

In remote and hybrid workplaces we can’t rely on popping into people’s offices and chance water cooler encounters.  We need to be intentional in getting to know people and building trust.  If we don’t value relationships, don’t see the impact they have on our ability to lead, it can be easy to overlook this essential component of our work. 

How do you get to know and understand the people you lead and work with?  What advice would you give to someone who is looking to better understand the people they lead and work with? 


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