The first reaction most people have to change is resistance. Change feels uncomfortable, your mind needs to adjust, rethink the situation. You can no longer act on auto pilot. Resistance to change does not imply unwillingness to change. Resisting change is completely natural. It is a rarity if a person thrives on change. Now of course there are people who mind change less and can cope with it well and there are also people who find it very hard to make any changes in their personal or work life. Every person has their own reaction to change given a certain situation.
Why is a persons initial reaction to change resistance? Is it just a matter of I do not want to or is there more to it?
- Is it because we are creatures of habit?
- Is it because habit makes us feel comfortable and safe?
- Is it because we fear to loose what we have?
- Is it because we see risk in changing the current way we do things?
- Is it because we do not believe the change will make things better?
Yes it’s all of that and more.
How do you drive the acceptance and embracement of change?First of all it’s important to realise that every one reacts differently to change and that is OK. Accept that not everyone will want to change. When you think of resistance as a natural reaction and give people time to adjust, acceptance will soon be the next step.
Focus on the following and you will experience an easier flow with change adaption;
- When making changes in your organisation it is essential to insure the people that you work with understand the reason for change. Discuss the need for change with everyone in the team. If you do this early in the process you might even collect valuable input from your team members. Taking time for this step will make the transition to acceptance and embracing change much easier and will ensure the changes will be accepted and embedded as the new way to do things.
- Openly discuss why people feel resistance. Often those why’s can be categorised in what we can and can not control. Focus on what you can control and letting go of what you can not. This helps gradual acceptance and understanding within the team. With people whom are risk averse you might want to start by assessing the risk. Make them part of the process so that you can mitigate their resistance.
- Once the larger part of your team is in the acceptance fase prepare your team how to be successful in the new way things will be done. Remember to keep communicating. It takes multiple times in multiple communication channels before anyone actually understands and hears what is happening.
Do you have a story to tell about change resistance? Perhaps you have some expert advice one change acceptance. Or maybe you have some questions. Let us know in a comment below ;0)