How Can Leaders Support People Through Change?

Understand the fight-or-flight response.

Summary
Transcript

In this behind-the-scenes interview from Leadercast 2020—Positive Disruption, Dr. Henry Cloud—psychologist, speaker and best-selling author—explains what leaders should do to keep people out of the fight-or-flight response during times of change. 

“It's up to leaders to mitigate against [fight-or-flight mode] by creating a lot of connection, a lot of clarity, a lot of structure,” he says. “Making sure they know what to do. Making sure they know what they have control of and clear roles and responsibilities to pull that off.”

Watch the video to hear from Dr. Cloud on supporting people through change.

TAKEAWAYS
- When change happens, your mind goes into fight-or-flight mode.
- It’s up to leaders to mitigate this by communicating clarity and structure. 
- View change as a learning opportunity and allow your team to fail.

So we have maps that, you know, organize the way things are and the way we go through life. And so you start to do change and what happens is, as I said in the earlier segment, your head goes, "Wait a minute. Something's wrong." Well, it is. Something is wrong. We're changing from the way it was. And what happens is when that registers like that, it activates the system and it actually goes into a little bit of a fight-or-flight mode.

You've all heard of fight-or-flight, right? And what happens is, at that point, now this is really important for leading something, that when somebody's in a fight-or-flight mode, you know their IQs can diminish by up to 30 points? Now that's a big deal. Like, from average to, you know, 130. Like, I mean we're talking, you know, up here 1600 SAT, you can relate to that, all the way down to average, right?

And so what this stress does is it reduces it. It's up to leaders to mitigate against that activation system by creating a lot of connection, a lot of clarity, a lot of structure. Making sure they know what to do. Making sure they know what they have control of and clear roles and responsibilities to pull that off.

And also the biggest thing is that it's OK to not get it right. Because you're going through change, you don't know how to do it. And you've got to convert the word failure to learning. We're doing research every day. We're just learning.

Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud is an acclaimed leadership expert and psychologist who draws on his extensive experience in business, leadership consulting, clinical psychology, and church ministry to impart practical and effective wisdom for growing...

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