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You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but How Do You Make Him Drink?

November 17, 2013

Daily ReadYou Can Lead a Horse to Water, but How Do You Make Him Drink?

Employees aren’t going to like every decision you make, but being a strong leader, means knowing how to rally the troops, even around an initially unpopular idea. The challenge is to overcome the fierce resistance you may get and not buckle under unpopularity. Easier said than done right?  Below are four suggestions on how to overcome stubborn employees unwilling to change.

Know that change creates friction. Humans are creatures of habit, and changes in the day-to-day may upset their routines. So don’t take opposition personal–it’s bigger than you and your idea.

Don’t forget the 20-50-30 principle. As a rule of thumb, 20 percent of your people will support your efforts to initiate change, 50 percent will be undecided, and the remaining 30 percent will resist you. Focus on the 50 with help from the 20.

Make a clear target. As a leader, it’s your duty to remind people of the benefits that lie just around the bend so they don’t tire and lose heart.

Promise problems from the start. Once you announce your campaign of change, be honest about the hardships ahead so your staff anticipates problems.

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