Keynote Speaker Feature: 8 Questions to Ask Before Asking Others to Change, by Jones Loflin

Posted by Alexis Washington

Jones Loflin is an internationally recognized speaker and trainer. His messages focus on change, motivation, time management and work/life blend. His humor, energy and audience engagement make an impact on every member of your group, not just an impression.

After a recent training program I spent an hour with a guy in a fairly new leadership role in his company. His passion for excellence and desire to improve the results of his team was refreshing. He was visibly frustrated, however, by his current situation, literally to the point of wanting to find a new position. “I just can’t get them to see the need to change,” he kept saying over and over.

His pain is all too common among those who want to move their team, department or organization to a better place. Most people want to maintain the status quo and avoid stepping outside their comfort zone, making their desire for change minimal at best.

Fortunately, there are some questions you can ask to better prepare yourself to lead a more successful change initiative–and not cause you to update your resume on

They include:

Do I have a clear picture of the outcome of the change? As elementary as it sounds, try drawing a picture of what the work environment, product, service or results will look like. Dr. Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? is passionate about people having a “sensible vision” of the change. The more real and inviting you make the outcome, the easier it will be for others to see the value of changing attitudes or behaviors.

What’s their currency? Determine your team member’s value. Don’t allow yourself to generalize with thoughts like, “more money” or “success.” Be as specific as possible to each individual. Then, when you are discussing the change with your team, seek to connect success with the change to what is important to them.

Who will be the individual(s) most resistant to this change? Once you have an answer, insure that their concerns are reasonably addressed in your plan. If you can get them on board, others should follow more quickly.

What are the negotiable and non-negotiable items in the change? While these may change somewhat in the process, knowing what battles you are willing to lose to win the war are important.

What is their motivation to change? I can’t tell you how many coaching sessions I have where a leader’s answer to this question is, “I’m not sure.” Most employees aren’t willing to change for the sake of change. Go back to my question about their currency. Find a motivator for each individual connected to the change.

Am I making the case for changing now? Facts, statistics, pictures, case studies and testimonials are all important elements to build a sense of urgency for a change. Determine some of the things your team members WON’T have if current processes, systems, attitudes and/or behaviors stay the same–and be prepared to share that information.

What resources will we give individuals to help them make the change? Will lower productivity be tolerated while systems and processes are converted? Do people need time to digest what the change means before real action is taken? What training can we make available to equip employees with the new skills needed to achieve success with the change?

What progress will we celebrate as the change moves forward? You want your people to stay motivated to engage in new attitudes and actions throughout the change. Develop an initial plan to celebrate the smallest of progress toward success with the change. In a Disney Institute seminar a few years ago, a presenter said that researchers at Disney know how far visitors to the park will walk with trash in their hand before giving up on finding a trashcan–and toss it on the ground. So the park staff make sure trash cans are spaced accordingly. You will want to develop the same type of plan for keeping people motivated toward achieving the change. Make the rewards or encouragement too scarce… and they may just give up.

What other questions about the change do you need to answer before asking others to change?

To check fees and availability on Jones Loflin call Eagles Talent Speakers Bureau at 1.800.345.5607.

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Posted by Alexis Washington
Alexis Washington writes about expert keynote speakers and Motivational Speakers, as well as tips and tricks for corporate meeting planners. If you need a guest professional speaker or corporate entertainer for your next convention or conference, you can visit

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