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5 Ways to Welcome Change

July 17, 2022, Rob McKenna PhD

Inspiration and practical advice for inviting possibility from WiLD Leaders’ Rob McKenna and Daniel Hallak


You can talk about it.
You can force it.
You can manipulate it.
You can reprimand those who don’t do it.
You can invite it.

There may be a time for the first four options, but we are most interested in the last one, as it facilitates a deeper and more sustained change. It is also likely the option we most struggle with. Here are five ways to help make change happen.

Change Begins the Moment Intent Is Triggered

Carefully construct your invitation to change—be it an email or a meeting—from the start. Think of it as invitation to possibility and hope. You are inviting your team into a reality where they matter.

Commit to the Change

Change takes conviction—and trust. Know that many employees will not trust it at first, but they will if the change is honestly about them. Know that you may especially be afraid of employees who strongly resist, and stay committed. This process is hard, and it takes time.

Commit to Confidentiality

As you invite employees into an honest process of change, allow them the confidentiality to move through the first stages on their own. You are building trust, and trust is easily broken. People first need to feel psychologically safe before they are able to be vulnerable and share.

Vulnerability Starts from the Top

Imagine how powerful it can be for you, as a leader, to admit to your team that you don’t have it all figured out, and to acknowledge mistakes. We so rarely see this! It can help your team to see possibility—that maybe they don’t need to have it all figured out all the time either. And if a leader can acknowledge this and move on, maybe they can, too.

Ask Reckless and Repeated Questions of Worth

Change asks us to push against culture. As we began to ask difficult questions—of ourselves, at first—we invite in the possibility to change. Simple repeated questions can have deep impact. Do you believe you could better serve those on your team? Reflect on this question and repeat it 2 more times.

Listen to Dr. McKenna reflect on the moment change begins

For more on Rob’s & Daniel’s work, listen to their webinar recording on Whole and Intentional Leader Development, and learn about their Certificate in Whole Leader Development.

Tips & Resources

Webinar Recording: Investing In Your People
Tip of the Week: Applause, Applause
Tip of the Week: 5 Ideas for Minimizing Distractions
10 Reasons to Get Wild Every Year
Get Certified: Whole Leader Development

About Rob McKenna PhD
Named one of the 30 most influential industrial and organizational psychologists, TEDx Speaker Dr. Rob McKenna is the founder of WiLD Leaders, Inc. and The WiLD Foundation, and creator of the WiLD Toolkit. His research and coaching with leaders across corporate, not-for-profit and university settings has given him insight into the real and gritty experience of leaders. His clients have included the Boeing Company, Microsoft, Heineken, Foster Farms, the United Way, Alaska Airlines and Children’s Hospital. He also previously served as the Chair of Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Seattle Pacific University.