What Are Change Management Skills? (With Examples)

Updated November 7, 2022

Companies often make organizational changes to grow and develop. Good change management can help companies navigate these changes and minimize the impact they have on daily operations. If the company you work for plans to undergo a transition or transformation, developing skills that help you with change management can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what change management skills are, share examples of these skills, tell you how to improve them, and offer tips to highlight them at work, in your resume or cover letter, and during a job interview.

What are change management skills?

Change management skills are abilities you can use to help a company through the process of making organizational changes. Good change management can be critical to the success of a company, as it can guide the company to implement changes smoothly and reach desired outcomes. Types of changes can include:

  • Transitional change: Transitional changes are changes that a company makes to change the way that it operates but maintain much of its current state.

  • Transformational change: Transformational changes involve a complete rebuilding of a company's current operations.

  • Developmental change: Developmental changes are changes that companies make to improve their existing operations.

Related: Change Manager vs. Project Manager: With Definition and Tips

Examples of skills for change management

Here are some examples of change management skills:

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is a key skill that can help you create change management plans. It's important to be able to understand the needs of the organization and how a change can meet them. This way, you can develop a strong plan to guide your company through change. Your plan can include:

  • a timeline of the change

  • a deadline for the change to be complete

  • responsibilities of each employee

  • specific tasks necessary to make the change

Related: 10 Traits of Strategic Thinkers and Why They Matter

Project management

Project management skills can also be useful in change management. Experience in project management can help you understand all the elements of making an organizational change, including the change management plan, resources, outcomes, and responsibilities. Project management skills can also help you evaluate your change and determine how to keep it on track.

Analytical skills

Analytical skills can help you prepare for change as you can assess your resources and conduct research to make informed decisions and action plans. You may research change management tactics or methodologies other companies used to implement similar transitions or transformations. You can also assess the company's history and data trends to ensure your change plan can benefit the business.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition and 15 Workplace Examples


Developing research skills can allow you to help a company plan for a change. You can research change management tactics and methodologies used by other companies to come up with ideas for the company's changes. You can also research the history and data trends of the company so that you can create the best possible organizational change plan.

Communication skills

Communication is also key to great change management. It's important to communicate with employees about why the company is making changes and what knowledge they need to fulfill their roles. To do this, you can craft an e-mail or newsletter that explains the details of the change to all members of the organization. It's also important to check in with employees regularly throughout the change to answer their questions and give them feedback.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills

Active listening

Good active listening skills are a form of communication skills that are essential for effective change management. Talk to your colleagues and listen to their ideas or feedback about the change you hope to enact. This ensures everyone supports the change, which can help make it more successful. Active listening can also help you form stronger relationships, as employees may feel heard and respected, making them more likely to enact the change as well.

Organizational skills

Being organized can help you create a detailed and clear change management plan. This plan may include details about the change, such as its goals, employees' roles, and a timeline. Staying organized throughout the change process can also help you remember important details, find documents or information, and adhere to strict deadlines.

Related: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

Leadership skills

Leadership is an essential skill for change management. It's important to lead employees through organizational changes and delegate roles to the right people. Good leadership includes:

  • Honesty and transparency: Try to be open with your employees about why a change is taking place, as this can increase their commitment to the change. It can also help you build trust and strengthen your relationships.

  • Motivation: Good leadership skills can help you motivate employees to fulfill their roles in a change. This can minimize the impact these changes have on the company's overall success.

  • Vision: It's helpful to have a clear vision for the organizational change and express what you aim for your company to accomplish. Sharing this vision with your team can ensure everyone understands their role and what they're working towards.

How to improve change management skills

If you want to improve your volunteering skills, here are the steps you can follow to do so:

1. Learn about other companies

To improve your skills and change management plan, assessing other companies' success may be beneficial. Consider companies who implemented similar changes and note what actions they took to ensure the change was successful. You can also consider books, articles, or blog posts about change management to improve your knowledge and gain more insight.

Related: What Is Business Competition? (With Types, Benefits, and Tips)

2. Get a mentor

A mentor is an industry expert who can offer advice or guidance to help you make informed decisions and actions. Finding a mentor can help you learn more about change management and how you can apply it to your current situation. You may ask them specific questions about the company's plan so you can improve it to ensure the change is successful.

Related: 13 Good Mentor Qualities (Plus Tips on How to Find a Mentor)

3. Consider a consultant

Another person you can contact for help is a consultant. Consultants and mentors are both industry experts who can offer advice and guidance, but the main difference is that a consultant charges for their service. A consultant may be more involved than a mentor, so hiring one may be a good option for you and your team. They may have more experience with change management and may offer step-by-step guidance to help you execute the change.

Related: What Is a Consultant? (With 16 Types and Primary Duties)

Skills for change management in the workplace

Change management skills have many applications in the workplace when companies are preparing to undergo changes. When preparing to implement a change, you may work with a variety of company departments to make the best decisions for the business. Here are examples of how you can use your skills for effective change management in the workplace:

  • Writing change management plans: You can use your skills to write a thorough change management plan, which is an essential part of implementing an organizational change.

  • Setting goals for organizational changes: Skills in change management can help you set good goals for organizational changes to help keep employees on track.

  • Communicating plans to employees: Skills for change management can help you communicate change management plans to employees so that they understand the purpose of the organizational change and their roles in the change.

Related: 40 Change Management Quotes to Inspire the Entire Team

How to highlight skills for change management

Here are some ways you can highlight your skills for change management in your resume, cover letter, and job interviews:

Change management resume skills

When applying for positions that handle change management, you may include a resume that highlights your skills, experience, and knowledge. To determine what skills to include, assess the employer's job posting for specific keywords they note. If you meet these requirements, include the keywords throughout your resume, particularly in the skills and work experience section. This can help distinguish you from other candidates.

Related: How to Write a Resume

Change management cover letter skills

You can also include a cover letter in your application to expand on your skills and experience. Discuss specific examples of times you used your skills for change management in the past to show employers you have proven success in that area. You can also talk about why you think you're the best fit for the position.

Change management job interview skills

If your resume and cover letter are successful, you may receive an invitation to interview. To improve your chances of getting the job, prepare for the interview ahead of time. You can do this by researching potential questions the interviewer may ask and preparing your answers. Try to highlight skills related to change management and discuss how you used them to manage changes in previous positions.

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