Webinar presenter Dr. Jackalyn Rainosek answered a number of your questions after her webinar, Change is a Process, Not an Event. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: Is it possible that people are open to change, but there are times when the leadership or an organization are just trying to change too much too fast?
Jackalyn Rainosek: That’s an excellent question. I do believe that there are leaders that try to force change or push it too fast. And one of the things that I think is most important is to develop in an environment, and you have to do it before you’re going through a change process. You can do it in the midst of change, but it’s sometimes it gets challenging. I think people are every person in any of your organization have a desk. They are leaders of that desk. They have expertise because they’re at that desk. And so, they need to have the right to have a voice. Now, I think people need to also learn how to respectfully communicate their ideas. However, I think in the situation you described, there’s a lack of believing that they have a voice, that they can speak out. Or if they have a voice, they haven’t found a way to support themselves in speaking out. And I think they need to let the members of the organization know what is happening that is creating resistance to the change. I say to all leaders that I deal with, if you’re going to have a huge change, number one, you need to have town hall meetings on a quarterly basis to see if you get input. You need to be certain who are the specific people that are available, to hear some of the concerns about the change? Or to encourage people going to their supervisor. And, if they can’t get that, then go to HR or go somewhere else and get somebody to listen to them about what it is. Because the more input we have, the more we can make the best decisions. So, thank you for that question. And I hope I answered it for you.
Audience Question: Does job burnout often masquerade as a blocking technique and if so, which one?
Jackalyn Rainosek: Boy, these are hard questions, this can be on a whole another program. Because I’m an expert in about work project activity addiction. And I know that in the systems I work in the justice system, people really are working a tremendous amount of time. I believe that burnout is not a blocking technique. I think it is something that people do not know how to manage their workload or how to go in and ask their supervisor, and say, “These are all the projects I have? I need for you to prioritize them because there is no way I can get this done by X Or I’ve got to have some help.” So, I think that’s one of the things I would like to say to you, is, I think job burnout comes because there’s a pattern of visual patterns that people do that exhaust them out, and I know, that’s true. And what I’d like to suggest to all of you there is a very inexpensive book, because it’s kind of a little book. But it’s one of the best resources I know. there’s a woman named Diane Fassel and she has a book out that you can get on Amazon that is Working Ourselves to Death. And I think if you look at that book, and you really want to see what’s going on, you will see your patterns of behavior doing, and then learn how to do them differently so you will not exhaust yourself out. I also want to say that there is a difference between having the habit of maybe overworking occasionally and doing bench working, but then there’s a habit of spending long hours there and your job becoming your life, and not having a balance with your family and friends and the other people. So, thank you for the question, I would encourage you to read her book and then see what you can do. The other thing is, I think the best way to treat job burnout is to look at a project activity addiction. It is an addictive process, and it needs to have a way to look at it in depth. So, changes can be made.
Audience Question: What are the best strategies to address, the office energy vampire who just sucks all of the energy or enthusiasm out of a room?
Jackalyn Rainosek: This is another whole program on how to deal with resistant people. It’ll take about an hour to talk about it. And here’s a quick answer I can give you. Identify the behaviors that the person’s doing that are draining the organization. Then sit down and determine how those papers need to be changed whether the person wants to do it or not. And then have a way of sitting down and addressing all the behaviors that this individual’s doing that are draining. And then show them what are the things that need to be changed. And then see if they’re willing to work on themselves. In a Sheriff’s department, I had an individual like this, and the captain and I sat down with her and said, these are all the things you’re doing and they’re draining everybody. There’s a lot of complaints about it, and here are the things that we’re asking you to change. And the captain said, I will meet with you every week, and that will allow you to talk with Jacqueline periodically to help you make these changes. The question is, do you want to do it? And if not, then we’re not going to put up with this behavior anymore, you need to understand it. But if you can be very specific about all the behaviors, and then what you want differently, and then have a meeting where you confront the issues, you’ll have a much better opportunity because trying to address one thing at a time, does not work. That person cannot hear until they are given a list of what needs to be changed and then have an agreement. This woman was on probation for a year and she’s still at the Sheriff’s Department, and she contributes today, and she’s very grateful for how she has changed herself.
Audience Question: How do we resolve situations where it’s our supervisor that is the one that seems to be blocking change, especially change suggested by their subordinates?
Jackalyn Rainosek: Well, I know in a paramilitary system, we tend to respect the fact that we have to go to the supervisor and go through them and not go above them. But what I would say is, I think one of the best things I’ve seen was a situation where there was a person in the sheriff’s department that was an individual that was creating a lot of difficulties with the change process and wasn’t a leadership role. And what the subordinates did, They all got together, and they all wrote down what they saw is their concerns, and the person not listening to them. They then agreed that they would all go together and respectfully say. “We would have really appreciated. If you would listen to us because we have some suggestions, Would you do that?”
And this individual was so shocked the quorum came in and wanted to do that with him that he agreed to listen to. Then it started a dialog with another situation. It got so bad that we had to take the subordinates comments about the leader, and then we had to take them to the next person up in the chain of command. And at that point, then the person who was in the upper part of the chain of command, thank all of them for having the guts encouraged to come. And then, that individual had a discussion, and then, interestingly enough, that person agreed to sit down with the subordinates and hear what they had to say. I think it’s a difficult situation.
There comes a time where you have to do something. So, that’s how I would answer it.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Change is a Process, Not an Event.