Leading Through Change With Progressive Thinking - Puris Consulting
Leading Through Change With Progressive Thinking

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: June 19, 2024

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Progressive Thinking, Leading Through Change With Progressive Thinking, image of mind with wires.

Every business, law firm, and professional is looking for some form of growth. Growth means more revenues, billables, salary, etc. Getting the best out of your employees means your business or law firm is achieving more. High achieving organizations are seen as progressive. We all want to hire and be around those people and businesses that are progressive and cutting-edge. It just feels good to do so. Thus, driving progress is the key to growth of your business, law firm and/or career. Let’s discuss how to lead through change using a secret tool that guarantees your law firm, company, team and professional success.

Being progressive isn’t necessarily easy…

Twelve years ago, I was putting emphasis on the fact that your substantive knowledge is only about 50% of your success. The other 50% is about your brand and how your talents and other skills are applied by you. These days with AI being so prevalent, those who are progressive and successful leaders know the focus is more than ever on talent management and what is called “durable skills”.

Durable skills (or the “other 50% of your brand” as I call it) refers to things like how you and your employees use professional judgment, being responsive to clients (client service aspect), strategic thinking (this is about your ability to navigate a problem/process), and big picture thinking. Also, very important is your ability to communicate and explain things simply without business, medical and legal jargon. These all require self-awareness and empathy. As an emotional intelligence expert, when I assess employees for emotional intelligence, these are the very things I look for.

Being progressive is less about doing and more about a state of mind that pervades your entire team, organization and thus, your client base, too. It starts with the leaders.

The Problem

Progressive states of mind are hard to come by because of the emotional block(s) we all have.

The main emotional block is often fear. Fear is the biggest emotion that blocks progressive mindsets that allow for you and your business to be seen as innovative leaders and thus, grow and succeed.

This fear is really about fear of change. Fear of change shows up generally as resistance to change. How many times have you found yourself resisting something new, ie a “change” because you are unsure, (really deep down fearful), of what may be? I certainly have done so to my detriment.

Fear of change is resistance to the uncertainty that comes about due to change. When I don’t know how something may turn out, it leaves me feeling uncertain. Uncertainty feels like being out of control and not being in charge of your own life, team, business, success and/or growth. Uncertainty feels awful at best. Often, we feel reckless and confused- especially when we are in leadership positions responsible for entire business units, teams of professionals and integrations from a merger/acquisition.

The Solution: Befriending Ambiguity

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word ambiguity is defined as “unclear or able to be understood in multiple ways.

Emotionally intelligent, successful professionals embrace ambiguity and flow with life. Getting comfortable with ambiguity will allow you to weather any changes and transitions that help you grow your practice and career. As with anything in life, what you resist, persists. It’s not about you throwing your arms up in the air and resigning yourself to the unknown. It’s just the opposite, in fact. It’s about staying curious about the ambiguity and normalizing it for yourself. This will allow you and your team to become more adaptable naturally, despite the fears.

Here are five ways to lead progressively normalizing ambiguity that comes with change:

1. Introduce changes slowly with easy wins to build confidence in your team and grow the bottom line. Begin small. Build motivation. From here you can grow.

2. Simplify concepts and plans to make change less scary. This requires you to grow and develop into an excellent communicator who can explain things simply without business jargon. High EQ leaders know how to communicate well.

3. Show results and ROI so employees are motivated. This will also address questions and push-back, especially from your left-brained, linear, analytical team members.

4. Set expectations- Avoid vague standards that can lead to biases. This requires you to build trust and be persistent in the face of ambiguity by being responsive. When you can identify what you mean by “responsive”, your team will follow. For example, what is considered responsive with clients? Maybe it’s taking my phone into meetings? Or perhaps it’s replying to all emails in 24 hours?

5. Be patient. Nothing good comes overnight. Behavioral changes and mindset growth takes time, kindness, empathy and patience.

In the end, your goals should be focused on having your team be prepared. Progressive leadership thrives with this formula.

We are focused on getting businesses to achieve more through their people. If you would like our support Schedule a one-on-one meeting with me and let’s discuss.

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