Denise, Pratt, MOL - Boys Town National Training
Change is constant and even necessary in education, but change remains consistently hard for schools (like any organization) to do well.
Because change is not easy for staff, leadership plays a critical role in the success of any meaningful change or initiative. So, how can administrators help their staff navigate change?
First, it is worth noting the distinct difference between change and transitioning.
Leaders are most effective when they recognize that implementing a change without also helping their staff transition, rarely goes well.
In short, change is often messy and inefficient, because it frequently triggers emotions in staff related to:
"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
Change: an event that is observable, situational, and external to oneself. It starts with a beginning. Change sets into motion the transition process.
Transition: is psychological, it is a three phase process that individuals go through over time to come to terms with the external changes they are experiencing. It starts with an Ending, then moves to the Neutral Zone and finishes with Beginnings.1
Since transitioning is a psychological process and not an event, leaders should offer time, patience, and persistence. Most people affected by change want to: have input, be heard, have opportunities to express concerns, have choices, explore options, and have the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers along the way. They look for leaders who can offer trust, hope, stability, compassion, and encouragement.
Some Helpful Tips:
For more tips on how to lead a team effectively during times of change read our blog posts; 5 Tips for Setting Goals & Achieving Success and 4 Keys to Selecting a Successful Leadership Team, or these free resources.
1Bridges, B. (2009). Managing Transitions: Making; the Most of Change, De Capo Press.