6 Ways to Engage People in Change

Where ever you work there is company or workplace culture if you will.   It is the framework that hampers change management because it is viewed to be necessary for consistency in day-to-day operations.   Now consistency is a good and necessary thing from an operational perspective.  However, what happens when what is defined as consistent no longer serves the business?  Some form of stagnation is a common result.  That stagnation becomes the stumbling block for change to occur.

As a Change Manager questioning assumptions, behaviors, beliefs and processes is second nature.  However as an agent of change you are not typically the person with the authority or power if you will to enact processes that would be beneficial over the short or long term.

Finding a way to engage your clients is imperative and the following areas provide a suggestions for a place from which to launch.

  1. Address what is actual current in the operation of the business.

Have the leadership and managers look at what they are doing and why.  Chances are high that many processes in play are no longer relevant creating unnecessary workflow bottlenecks.   Questioning the validity of what is being done creates an opportunity for minor and major shifts to take place.

  1. Bring measurement tools to the forefront.

It seems like an obvious thing to do yet it may be overlooked in the haste to get an initiative started.  Data to support what you are trying to accomplish is essential for the process to reach fruition.

  1. Work within the sphere of influence you have.

Promoting changes begins with working within those aspects you have influence over.   The probability of influencing those around you gains traction over time.  That creates an opportunity for trust to grow.  With that your sphere of influence also grows.  Introducing change becomes less daunting with more people on board.

  1. Ensure your sponsor or champion for the process is well informed.

The person who is the champion of the process is likely someone who commands a larger sphere of influence than yourself.  Keep this person in the loop with all critical information.  That paves the way for a smoother rollout.

  1. Be diplomatic.

Being the person who knows it all or who has to dominate each discussion is hardly a diplomatic approach.   Recognize that there may those who do not view the process the same way you do and are therefore questioning why change needs to take place.   Stay focused ad present the data and information calmly and objectively.   Point out the benefits as often as require.  In other words be diplomatic.

  1. Speak to your audience in the manner they understand.

Speaking to technical people using words and phrases they are not familiar with does not add to your credibility.   Present your reasons for change within the context of the business.  Take the time to define the terms you are using.  Avoid jargon and terms where the meaning is ambiguous at best.

Changes occur with action.  Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of your successes along the way.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, info@effectiveplacement.com

7 Leadership Qualities – Which Ones are your Strong Suits?

Top 7 qualities of those on the cutting edge of leadership in business that come to mind are:

  1. Confidence

You need confidence meaning that you give off a vibe of assured expectation, and self-reliance as you are in a position of having to make crucial decisions that will likely be far from popular.  Belief in yourself and the outcome you are creating is essential to leadership.

  1. Transparency

Engaging people requires that you make visible all of the parts of the process being undertaken.  Leaving parts out of the equation does not serve the longer term process and costs you as a leader in terms of trust.  It may also diminish your value in the eyes of the people you are leading.

  1. Integrity

The people that work for you and with you have a good sense of who you are and of the core characteristics you possess.  A lack of considering the wholeness or soundness of your decisions puts you in danger of not having integrity.  Take the time to consult with others that work for you before making a decision.  Being unpopular is something you are able to recover from.  Being known as lacking in integrity may not be.

  1. Inspiration

Inspiring those around requires that you yourself be inspired by the work you are engaged in.  As a leader it is incumbent that you inspire those around you by your words and actions.  By being inspired you set the tone for others to be open to inspiration. That may lead to potential new ways of looking at or doing things.

  1. Passion

The drive to see a project or initiative through to completion needs to be filled with that strong enthusiasm known as passion to get through it.  As with any process there are delays, communication mishaps, and missed steps that require correction.  Passion adds the fuel to correct the mishaps and achieve the desired completion.

  1. Innovation

Looking at the big picture and seeing it from a different perspective is the hallmark of innovation.  As a leader you have the ability to change the scope and direction of the work you are involved with by taking a different point of view and implementing changes that enhance the product or service delivery.

  1. Patience

Calm self-possession while unfolding a project or initiative is essential.  A lack of patience usually sets a whole gamut of factors into play that cause unnecessary upheaval and delay.  Having patience and generating excitement are necessary to having a relatively calm process.  Every leader knows that high drama is disruptive and unnecessary.  As a leader being calm and displaying patience is truly a virtue.

Which of the above leadership qualities do you possess?  My wheelhouse needs support in the innovation and patience areas.  The good news is that as a leader I am a work in progress and with each project I have the opportunity to hone and improve my skill set.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, info@effectiveplacement.com

Getting Paid your Worth- A Values Dilemma

Having been part of the workforce either part time or full for over 30 years it is interesting to note that being paid what you are worth as a woman is still a concept that has much traction to gain in business. The area of pay disparity between men and women has received a great deal of attention across all media.

Individuals in the entertainment industry are household names, and are associated with huge pay.  Even here women do not necessarily command the same pay as men.  There is always an exceptions to this where women are paid on par to their male counterparts.  As for professional sports the landscape is largely dominated by men with relatively few areas for women to achieve the same professional standing and pay.

Media reports indicate that women in a cross section of industries including technology, manufacturing, and resource extraction are being paid less than their male counterparts.  The great minds of women, the ones that come up with huge strides in technology, the environment, natural resource allocation, food production and distribution to name a few areas are often not the ones that necessarily the best paid for the work that they do.

The fix of legislation has not proven to be successful in having the pay scale between men and women equalized.  Equalization in credentials and training has not solved the issue.

The fundamental question remains what is behind the valuation of men’s work as being deemed worthy of more dollars?  It is a question that is not readily or easily answered.  It also brings up questions as to what values are in place within business in general.  Does business in general value authentic contribution from whom ever it comes from?   Do men in business trust other men more?  Does aggressive behaviour hold more sway in business than assertiveness?  Where does the issue of integrity fit in the business decision to pay a man more than a woman for the same work?

Business is generally known as an area where good questions need to be given serious consideration.  The questions posed here are ones that require thoughtful reflection and are a call to action for a level playing field in relation to equitable pay for women.


Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, info@effectiveplacement.com

3 Ways to Keep your Personal Power on Projects

Working in HR, Operations, or Change and Project Management puts you in line for constant feedback as to what is or is not going well in your area of accountability.  Part of what you do entails empowering other people.  It is equally important to maintain your own personal base of power to boost your overall success.

Allowing others to have a negative influence over the way you think, feel, or behave robs you of your psychological and emotional strength.  It also derails the objectives and goals you have for your business and personal life.

Following are 3 tips to keep your personal power in the face of adversity or resistance.

  1. Keep your personal boundaries in place.

Often you hear more about what is not working than what is.  Avoiding resentment of those who try and take up your on issues that may or may not be important is a function of maintaining clear boundaries.  Let people know when they can air their grievances small or large.  Then hold them to that by bringing the focus back to the purpose of the meeting or discussion.

  1. Maintain Your Goals

A great many variables change during the implementation of a project or process.  It is important that you maintain the overall goals despite the changes that occur.  It may be tempting to overlook aspects relating to budget, productivity, or morale.  As the one in charge you are responsible for the outcome.  Stick to the goals as that serves everyone in the long term.

You also get to decide how to spend your time. No one forces you to go to work, see the dentist, or attend that family gathering. As an adult, you get to make the rules.

  1. Allow Others to See the Best in You

Succumbing to anger or resentment has a direct impact on the changes you are out to have happen.  Voicing concern is okay and certainly beneficial.  Be the change agent and let others bring out the best in you even when things have not gone as expected.  When you are firmly grounded in your strengths you know you are capable of addressing each situation with integrity.  That is crucial for others to see.


When people note that your mood does not center around their actions or behaviors you have a powerful impact on them.  That is where empowering others has an impact. Maintaining your personal power in the face of adversity or resistance is beyond positive thinking.  It is a commitment to yourself to having your goals accomplished despite the outside stimulus around you.


Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, info@effectiveplacement.com