Not all Tribes had their elections recently but a fair number certainly did. I have found working with Tribes that any change in leadership can make the staff feel a sense of anxiety. While in some cases this may be warranted it does not have to be the norm. Here are some tips on how to deal with any changes in leadership.

1) First of all it is important to accept the changes whether you are in agreement with them or not. If you choose to be reactive this will be wasted energy. And for some this may turn into sabotaging behaviors which are not in the best interest of the Tribe or your own. It will only make matters worse.

2) Often times I hear Tribal staff say it is frustrating that they have to explain where they are with their planning and implementation of programs with new leaders on board. It is what it is. Therefore make the best possible presentation to the new council members so they can become familiar with your program and staff needs as soon as possible. Work on building trust with the new council members and they will be far more receptive to your information.

3) Don’t make assumptions about what kind of Tribal leader you think someone may be. You may be wrong. I have found that people can surprise us. Some grow into the position and develop their leadership skills and become very capable tribal leaders.

4) Learn to adapt to the situation. Be proactive in your responses with the Council. By being flexible you will be seen as someone that is willing to go with the flow.

Leave a Comment