Navigating Change: A Guide for Women Leaders to Empower Their Teams

In the dynamic landscape of today's business world, change is a constant companion...

…and more and more women I coach are asking the question about how to help their teams navigate change. While change propels us forward, challenging us to grow and adapt, it also brings about endings and the necessity to grieve them. For women in leadership roles, guiding teams through the ebbs and flows of change demands not only strategic foresight; it also requires emotional intelligence. Below are insights surfaced through my coaching on how women leaders can empower their teams to navigate change, with a special emphasis on the often-overlooked aspect of grieving the end.

Communicate Openly and Frequently

Transparency builds trust. Keep your team informed about upcoming changes and discuss what this means for everyone involved. Encourage open dialogue, allowing team members to express their concerns and feelings. This open line of communication can act as a support system throughout the transition. A great reminder here is to over communicate. Sometimes because we have a seat at the table where change discussions are happening, we forget that our staff doesn’t have the same vantage point.

Lead with Empathy

Change can evoke a spectrum of emotions. Approach your team’s responses with empathy, recognizing that grief over what is being lost is natural. Validate these feelings and share your own, creating a culture where emotional expression is not only accepted but encouraged.

Empower and Involve Your Team

Involvement in the change process can provide a sense of control during uncertain times. Solicit input and involve your team in decision-making where possible, helping them feel valued and part of a collective effort toward a common goal. Finding a peer who can champion the change can also be helpful for your team as they may see you as required to promote it.

Focus on the Positive, Yet Acknowledge the Loss

While emphasizing the benefits and opportunities that change can bring, it’s crucial to recognize and allow space for grieving the end of what was. This could mean acknowledging the loss of familiar routines, roles, or the way things used to be. Honoring these losses can help individuals move forward more wholly and resiliently.

Provide Support and Resources

Equip your team with the necessary tools and resources to adapt to change, including support for managing grief. This might involve bringing in a grief counselor, offering workshops on resilience and change management, or simply being available for one-on-one conversations. Your own Employee Assistance Program may be available to facilitate a conversation through the grief process and into the other side of change.

Celebrate Milestones and Honor Endings

Recognize and celebrate key milestones to keep morale high. Equally important is finding meaningful ways to mark endings, whether through a ceremonial event, a team gathering to reminisce about past successes, or a moment of silence for what’s being left behind. These rituals can offer closure and pave the way for new beginnings.

Be a Role Model

Demonstrate how to embrace change while also giving yourself permission to grieve. By sharing your own experiences and showing vulnerability, you can inspire your team to approach change with a balanced perspective, acknowledging the pain of loss while being open to the growth that lies ahead.


Work with me

Change, with its inherent endings and beginnings, is a multifaceted experience that requires both strategic acumen and deep empathy. Often women leaders feel like their going through this change alone. When you’re ready to join forces with others on the change journey, click here and pick a time for us to talk as I would love to help you on this road.

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