To Change or not to Change
While change is inevitable, we all tend to resist it. Understanding why and what to do about it can make the process much better.
“The only thing that is constant is change”. We know this. Changes come in different speeds and impact. Sometimes we can do something about it and sometimes we can’t. It sounds trivial but accepting this reality is critical. It makes us better prepared to face it and use it to our advantage.
We are creatures of habit and tend to minimize effort. As Newton’s first law tells us, ‘A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.” How often do we rather stay in a suboptimal equilibrium than to change? So, be that external force and help your organization move forward!
There are as many changes as there are approaches to dealing with it. One thing is clear: if you want your organization to embrace change and get the desired results, you will need to be strategic about it.
Reach out, and let’d do it together!
“A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”
Let's work together on your Change challenge.
Bring your teams to their best by driving Change successfully.
Types of Resistance
Resistance can take many shapes and when we recognize it we are better equipped to deal with it, if so we chose to do.
This type of resistance is generally perceived as based in facts. The change doesn’t seem to fit within reason and logical aspects. For example, we may feel there’s not enough time, space, money or other resource to adapt to change.
Dealing with this can be fun and creative, if we are open to that. We can be an active agent in this process, identifying solutions and alternatives.
Note: often what seems like a rational resistance is a disguise for other types of resistance. Thus, you will need to build the trust to dig deeper and understand what are the real reasons to avoid change.
In this case, we face emotions and feelings that prevent them from embracing change. It can be fear of the unknown, lack of trust or confidence.
Sometimes it’s more vague than that: we resist to change in general, we are angry that things need to change…
To move forward, we must understand the attitudes and beliefs that are holding us back.
It takes courage, self awareness and an open mind to explore and face what’s really happening. Only afterwards can we discover the best way to approach the situation.
Last but not least, social resistance is based on expectations we believe others have of us, the pressure to stand out or fit in, the higher or lower need to feel loved, that we belong, that we add value to the community…
There are many aspects in our relationships that can have a big impact on how we experience change. For example: fear of conflict of values, hierarchies, the need for power and status, respect.
We need to understand this complex set of relations to understand the resistance. We can then identify the trade-offs and possible solutions to take the most out of change.
Case Study: Management Change
A stronger team and performance after a surprise management change.
How do we respond to Resistance?
One way to look at it is to compare with the stress response with Fight, Flight or Freeze reactions. We can resist change with a rebellious behaviour (fight), a dismissal or avoidance (flight) or doubt, confusion and denial (freeze).
Of course, life is too complex to fit it into these labels and move forward. Hence, these categories aim only at providing some guidance to explore the situation.
The important thing is to be aware that rational, emotional and social aspects can be behind our resistance.
So, now what?
Coaching for Work can be your partner to find the right tools and plan to implement change in your organization. This might involve special events with teams, coaching leadership or some of the people affect or working out an implementation plan with you. This plan would then have a focus on communication to all stakeholders to facilitate a better implementation of your change.