Bringing Your Authentic Character to Change
A few months ago, I drove to work puzzling out how to approach an important meeting. I’d set my intention for the day as making a success of this meeting but now I had to decide what success looked like. Given the nature of the participants and the current state of our change project, it could go a number of ways!
As I waited at the lights, I built on my original intention by adding that success would mean the right outcome for the business – no matter how bruised people felt, or what changes to the plan we would have to make. I took a deep breath: that result felt good – what didn’t feel good was how I was going to have to approach the meeting in order to achieve it.
I knew that I was going to have to share some hard truths with my client. Truths that the steering group would find it hard to acknowledge; truths that might irreparably damage my relationship with this client; and truths that might even mean they would dispense with my services. But nervous as I was about this, I knew it had to be done, not only for the health of the project but also for the sake of my professional pride. If I was honest, I knew I had ducked an opportunity to tackle this a week ago. But the conversation had been informal, at the end of a busy day and I wasn’t prepared. Now I was realising how much harder it would be to confront these issues today and cursing that I had listened to the excuses that my inner demon had proffered.
Today’s meeting was going to take courage and resolve to get to the right outcome. I mentally reviewed a couple of different approaches but in the end came to the conclusion that a straightforward approach focusing on the facts would be best. I looked at that last sentence, written on my notepad. Not as simple as it looked.
The individual running the programme is the protégée of the CEO and had been personally chosen by him to lead this programme.