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The Behavioral Requirements for Change Agents Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel (Coco) Morales

I am often asked about the behavioral attributes of change agents within any institution.  My answer is fairly quick, after having researched this challenge for more than thirty years.  I always review to my friends that you hire for character and educate for skills and competencies.  Having made clear this fundamental premise, here are the behavioral demands of change agents within organizations.

  1. Handle novel and diverse problems as matter of course.  Do it with soundable knowledge, avoid recycling and any superficiality.  Cope with the temptation of the last flavor of the month.
  2. Practice effective communication skills at all levels of the organization, and externally.  Like to interact and share with people.
  3. Analyze many variables and choose the best course of action on a regular basis.  Dare to experiment with new things.
  4. Manage hostile situations effectively.
  5. Develop skills in motivating and encouraging others.
  6. Show courage and persistence in the face of opposition.
  7. Exhibit patience on regular basis.
  8. When the job demands a great sense of urgency, handle the stress and follow through quickly.  Cultivate your mind, take care of your body, and develop your spirit.
  9. Show trust in others and build rapport.
  10. Dare to speak truth and be critical in a positive way when the situation demands that.
  11. Be effective at coaching, at mentoring and at developing others.
  12. Deal effectively with ambiguity and uncertainty.
  13. Work effectively with a variety of people.
  14. Cope successfully with a great deal of change at the job.
  15. Be really sensitive to the needs of others.  Show empathy.
  16. Make frequently your own decisions.
  17. Show a high degree of adaptability and flexibility.
  18. Demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  19. Elicit the cooperation of others.
  20. Maintain good working relationship with all levels of the organization, specially the base.
  21. Although immediate results of the job done are not apparent, strive for long term benefits for the company rather than short term political or ego satisfaction.
  22. Hand with wisdom the high visibility of the job and the public contact. 
  23. Display an assertive personal style and dare to agitate or shake the status quo.  Dare to live dangerously.
  24. React favorable in difficult situations.  Don’t panic.
  25. Understand vague and implicit requirements.
  26. Handle well volatile situations.
  27. Listen actively, practice with two-way communication skills.
  28. Be accessible, open, honest, helpful and workable in dealing with people.
  29. Complete projects, tasks and assignments on time with minimum assistance.
  30. Handle the change, transformation and innovation aspects of your job with passion, love and commitment to do well and to make a real contribution.

If you think they are to many, they are to many, but those are the demands of the job.  Maybe, you can rank them in order and pick the first ten that work for your.  God bless you!

Copyright 2008 QBS, Inc.


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