One of my clients came to me because he knows managing change is hard. He paid me the highest of compliments today, “Working with you is easy.” What my client is working on is not easy. He is leading a significant change in a workplace where past changes have failed more times than not. In fact, my client was afraid–but brave enough to tell me–that he missed a critical deadline, and it was costing his business a lot of money. Worse than that, the missed deadline had the potential of harming the trust he built with people he works with. He told me the full story. The depth of the problem was fully revealed, and I felt pretty uncomfortable myself.
Uncomfortable or not, my client needed to respond.
Together, he and I worked to create a way to adjust for the missed deadline and communicate to his team. During the process we looked at the problem from each stakeholder’s point of view. There were moments we could laugh, and make light while we put ourselves in others’ shoes. We talked about “best case”, “worst case”, “then whats”, and “so whats” until we felt like we had exhausted every convoluted way this darn thing could go . . . .
What happened next was nothing short of amazing. My client talked with his team about the missed deadline, the additional costs, and the team found a way to make up for it all. The team had his back, reinforced trust, and appreciated the open and honest rapport with their boss. My client called to tell me about it, and thanked me for being so easy to work with. Managing change is hard, but this client’s company is succeeding–by changing how they introduce, lead, and accomplish change.
I love my job!