Friday, October 24, 2014

People Don't Like Change, Right?

Wrong! If people disliked change as a general rule... the clothing styles we would still be wearing would never change... imagine using pay-phones to communicate instead of your newest iPhone 6 plus...

It isn't that people dislike change, they dislike change they don't understand or see the need for. If they are negatively impacted by the change, people are more resistant. Leaders who adopt the belief that all people dislike change are putting themselves at a major disadvantage. Adopting this mindset puts the leader on the defensive with everyone from the start. Greg Shea, author of Leading Successful Change, says leaders who believe people don't like change build bunkers. They hunker down and brace in preparation for the resistance. This mentality causes the leader to miss out on opportunities. Opportunities to convey the vision of the change, the reasons why the change will not only move the organization forward but actually be good for the individual employee. Being on the defensive causes the leader to miss out on inspiring others to join in and help with the change initiative.

Being on the defensive also makes it easy for the leader to ignore feedback that could actually enhance the change initiative. They dismiss any resistance as simply, "people don't like change, what do you expect". If instead, the leader recognizes that people will tolerate change, some will embrace it, it changes their mindset to be open to any resistance as simply information to inform the process.

So, the next time you are leading a change initiative...monitor your mindset - avoid the bunker mentality.