The pressure is mounting. ABC Hospitality has begun to recognize that it must change its environmental practices for two reasons. First, their customer base expects them to follow up their talk of “less waste” with concrete steps. Investors recognize that more sustainable hotel brands are both cost-effective and present a marketing opportunity in a society that is increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of all of their choices, even hotel stays.
ABC Hospitality President/CEO, Barbara, is on board and ready. Some of her management team, however, appear to be in a different place. Stuart, the VP of Finance, understands the need to cut costs like excess waste, but isn’t sure about the long-term impact of investing in large scale renovations to reduce properties’ carbon footprint. Giselle, President of ABC Hospitality Europe, has been innovative in creating pockets of successful change. She is ready to help others learn and adapt from Europe’s sustainability efforts.
What can you do when you know change is needed, but you are navigating various stages of readiness? Humanergy recommends assessing where you and your team are in terms of readiness. Then you can create intentional opportunities for people to learn more, experience new possibilities or work through their resistance.
Based on the Transtheoretical (or Stages) Model of Behavior change, figure out where you and your team are on this scale:
1. Not even thinking about it
2. Thinking about it, but not sure
3. Denying any need
4. Starting to perceive need
5. Open to change
6. Want to make change
7. Taking action, making change
8. Maintenance of change – making it stick
9. Expanding and evangelizing
In ABC Hospitality’s example Barbara is at 6, Stuart at 4 and Giselle at 9. If Barbara continues to plot out the readiness of her management team, she can then create specific strategies to bring them along. She can also self-assess and be very intentional about her own change process.
Knowing a person’s starting point helps guide the leader’s actions moving forward. This may mean facing the reality that change has both practical and emotional sides. The desired change means that others may have to take on new roles or behaviors. And change sometimes just doesn’t feel great, because people are operating outside familiar patterns and comfort zones. So no matter where your people land on this scale, remember that facilitating change means you have to do it, too. Show over and over that you’re adopting new ways of being, and others will be more likely to go into unknown territory with you.
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