What does it take to be an Effective Change Agent?

It was so much fun to host a Facebook Live talk show on April 2 on “What makes for an effective change agent,” with my colleagues Rob Greenly and Greg Collins.  The technology is great, and the conversation was even better.  Watch here:  https://www.facebook.com/100004519807471/videos/977511429076175

See if your top characteristics show up in our list below:

Building trust:

  • Setting boundaries to establish trust
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Focusing on their agenda, being in service of the client
  • For Remote teams: paying attention to building relationships and trust virtually as a foundation to working together


  • Helping people to be more candid with one another
  • Listening attentively, making sure I understand what the client needs from me, and asking powerful Qs to help them get clear;
  • Reflective listening for example: “Are you saying xxx?”
  • Creating common vocabulary, making sure the team has shared understanding of any jargon

Building capacity:

  • Building the capacity of the team to ask each other questions: paraphrasing, clarifying, so that we (the consultants) aren’t the only ones asking those questions
  • Helping the teams and individuals latch on to what we’re sharing so they don’t need us to continue the process in an ongoing way
  • Help leaders find a balance between getting results now vs. building capacity of their team over time

Best practices in Change management:

  • Finding people who have credibility to be part of the change effort
  • Helping leaders to be clear about where they want to go; helping them create a common understanding of where they and the team or orgn. are going
  • Helping people think more deeply to define the problem and the root causes rather than jumping to fix-it mode, when there’s lack of clarity about the problem.
  • Distinguishing between working on an orgl. challenge, in which we need to clearly define the problem vs. creating a vision of the desired future, which may be separate from (and additional to) working through an orgl. challenge.

We got great feedback from the audience/visitors in terms of what worked well:

  • Our ability to bounce off of each other’s comments
  • It was a casual conversation filled with knowledge and wisdom
  • The talk about cultural variation

Looking forward to the next talk show.  Stay tuned!

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