When you implement change in organizations, most people in the organization have a full-time job they are already doing. Especially at a time when companies are doing more work with fewer people, a common issue for change agents is trying to add more tasks to already full to-do lists.
Some people will tell you they don’t have time. Others seem to ignore your e-mails or meeting requests. So how do you squeeze your change initiative into already jam-packed schedules?
- Change your internal monologue. If you view your request as being a burden on the person before you even ask, then your request will come off that way. If you believe your initiative is worth doing, then don’t apologize for it! Reflect the value in your own attitude.
- Acknowledge that they are busy. Respect their time. Keep it short, and start and end on time. Prepare in advance to make the best use of their time. If you waste it, you reduce your chance of getting another opportunity.
- Enlist them to define what they can do. When you get push-back about time, find out what they are willing to take on. Then get them to commit to a time line so you can hold them accountable.
- Make it easy. Give them as little work as possible. Break it into small doable chunks.
- Realize that later might be better. If there is truly too much going on to devote the required attention to your initiative, it’s probably best to not cram it in. Agree on a later date to come back to it, or find someone else who can do it instead.
What might you do to squeeze change into people’s busy schedules?