The “4-Ts” of Initiating Change

  • by Rhyan Walcott

The “4-Ts” process of initiating change involves thinking friendly, talking friendly, being able to trust friendly, and also being team friendly, which derives from notions in Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan’s book Change-Friendly Leadership. This goes hand in hand with great performance within an organization. The best leaders are able to function and communicate with those whom they lead in a friendly manner that can also command respect for the authoritative position of power.

“Think friendly” involves helping employees get in a growth mindset while losing the fixed mindset. This is important in helping employees accept and value change within the organization because a fixed mindset can limit growth potential and does not allow the bigger picture to be viewed. To limit fixed mindsets or move those who you are leading out of having a fixed mindset, it may imperative to emphasize the importance of setting, working towards, and achieving both team and personal goals.

“Talk friendly” encourages feedback and open communication between the leader and those being lead. Feedback is vital in knowing how well performance is and can allow people to work and improve in areas where necessary. To implement Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan’s notion of talk friendly, a leader should utilize constructive criticism through open communication with his/her employees. If taken and accepted with open ears, constructive criticism can improve the overall performance if the applicable changes are made. It is important that this criticism remains constructive and helpful, so that it does not harm the trust.

This corresponds with Dr. Duncan’s “trust friendly” aspect of the change-friendly leadership model, in which non-constructive feedback can affect the level of trust and in response this may damage the relationship between leader and those being lead. This is where being “team friendly” is also important. Being team friendly involves teamwork; a good leader should involve himself/herself in the team’s activities and work with their group to achieve all goals. A strong leader does not only demand or control his group, but also participates in guiding his/her team to success.

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