Navigating change is hard for both staff and managers, says Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of $102 million asset Southwest Louisiana Credit Union in Lake Charles.
“Change takes away our convenience, and makes us feel uncomfortable,” says Hardy, who addressed CUNA Management School students in Madison, Wis. “Still, we need to lead people through it.”
Hardy cites four personality types that emerge during times of change, how they respond to change, and how to manage them:
1. Eager Ed. He embraces change, and is eager to learn and perform well. He’s not stuck on old ways of doing things, and can help set a positive tone on your team.
How to manage Ed: Train him quickly, and allow him to train others. Recognize his accomplishments, and find ways to let him lead. Find development opportunities that will allow him to advance in the credit union.
2. Curious Carla. She’s not sure about change, and has many questions. She may appear to be negative, although she’s fact-finding. She’s on the fence, and will become either a strong contributor or a detractor depending on how you manage her.
How to manage Carla: Give her the information she needs to be comfortable with the change. Offer feedback about how she’s performing and how she can improve. Pay close attention to see whether she moves in a positive or negative direction.
“If we’re not mature leaders, we’ll see Carla as negative,” Hardy says. “Don’t be offended by her questions, and don’t shut her down too quickly.”
3. Lazy Larry. He’s indifferent to change, and doesn’t demonstrate a strong work ethic. He doesn’t embrace your credit union’s culture, and he’ll do just enough to get by.
How to manage Larry: Set clear expectations and hold him accountable immediately. Offer consistent feedback on his performance, and coach him out if necessary.
4. Negative Nancy. She resists change and complains about everything. She can be a huge detractor and lead others in the wrong direction.
How to manage Nancy: Set clear expectations and hold her accountable quickly. Give her the information she needs to become more comfortable with the change. Be prepared to remove her from the credit union.
“Tell her, ‘if you don’t like change, this isn’t the place for you,’” Hardy advises. “Change isn’t always about right and wrong, but what needs to happen.”