Four Questions to Help Manage Resistance to Change

You came up with a new idea that will revolutionize the way your company does business. When all the changes are implemented, your team will work more efficiently, morale will improve and as a result, your customers will be happier and you’ll see more money in the bank.

What you didn’t account for was all the push back you’re getting from the team to the changes.  Instead of jumping on board with you, they seem to be deliberately sabotaging your efforts.  You outlined the benefits, you shared your vision. Why isn’t it working?

It’s not that people are resistant to change. People are more than willing to change when they see and believe the benefit to themselves.  People are more than willing to make change when the benefit outweighs what they have to give up.

Just think of all the changes a person makes.

  • They leave the comfort and security of their home when they head to college, university or the excitement of their very first apartment.
  • They leave school and enter the workforce.
  • They learn new skills.
  • Many leave the single life behind and become first a partner, then perhaps a parent.  Learning how to build and maintain a strong, successful relationship is hard work, especially after children and pets are added to the mix.
  • Some leave bad relationships and have to learn how to navigate the world of single parenthood.

People experience change throughout their lives. Some they have control over, some they don’t.  And at some point, many people become very comfortable with the world they created and see no valid reason to make the change  you are asking for.

That’s when you, as a business owner or manager, may experience that push back.  Working through the following questions with your team members may help you, and them, identify some reasons for push back.

  • How will this change benefit me personally?
  • What are the dangers or drawbacks to me personally if the change is implemented?
  • How does it benefit me personally if the change is not made?
  • What are the dangers or personal drawbacks to me personally if the change is not implemented?

Sharing your vision is important.  Just remember that not everyone has the same glasses on as you do. What they see might be somewhat different.

When you know what the fears and concerns are, you can then discuss them honestly and at the same time, focus on the benefits.