Five Ways to Reduce Resistance During Change
Updated: Aug 16
Today, for you, I have five easy strategies that'll help you help your team get ready for the next change.
Embrace the Unknown
If you experienced change then you know the uncomfortable feeling that happens when you're about to jump into something new or different.
But, as a manager, you have to create trust through transparency.
If you know something about the change, share it. If you don't know a particular detail about the change, let them know you’ll find out. As a leader, it’s not about having all the answers, but creating an environment of we’re in this together and shows that you care.
Understand the Current Situation
It's easy to forget when you're in the thick of “it” that your team are not robots able to work non-stop. Your team is made up of 3D human beings who have their own lives, passions, and challenges outside of the office. From kids, hobbies, Netflix series to binge-watch, and maybe even a yoga class or two to attend!
When things start to shift and change at work, it’s important to know a person’s personal life could impact how they respond to change and how they handle things at work. But you won’t know these things until you seek to understand what's happening in their lives. So put on your detective hat and ask open-ended questions to uncover what’s happening in their life. By showing genuine interest in their lives, you can gain valuable insight that'll help you strategize your approach to introduce change.
Identify Change Reactions
It’s no secret that people are different and the same goes for how they react to change.
Some folks are eager to learn about and embrace new change, while others would prefer to sit back and evaluate the situation and maintain their comfort zone as long as possible.
Understanding these different reactions is super important. The folks eager to jump in can become your greatest advocates, and those in evaluation can provide you with valuable insight.
By identifying who's who on your team, you can tailor your approach. After all, it’s not about everyone react the same way, but rather understanding and respecting differences and utilizing these differences.
Communicate the 'Why'
I know what you're thinking…Eric, we've already discussed the what, the who, and the how. Isn't that enough?
In change, understanding the 'why' is like finding the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle – it's the game-changer that turns a frustrating mess into that beautiful picture.
Say you've got a team working on a project, and out of the blue, you announce, "We're changing our approach." Without the 'why', they might think you've lost your marbles and they'll be scratching their heads wondering why do they need to abandon a perfectly good strategy. But if you communicate the 'why' clearly they will begin to understand the logic behind the change.
One more thing…make sure you continue to communicate the ‘why’ at least 6-7 more times, because that’s how long it will take for the ‘why’ to sink in,
Connect Change to Emotion
When you learn about a change, what's the first thing that pops into your head?
For most people, they want to know how a change is going impact them and understand the what’s in it for me or the WIIFM. In other words, emotion plays a key role in change.
Every person on your team will view the change through their own unique lens. Mary might be excited about the new software because it'll make her job easier. But Bob? He might be worried about learning a whole new system.
This is why it's very important to translate the change into the WIIFM for each person.
Let's say you're introducing a new project management tool. Instead of just saying, "We're using this now," take a moment to explain the benefits to each team member.
You can tell Mary that this tool will automate the tasks she hates doing.
And for Bob, you can help relieve some of his fear by offering extra training sessions to help him get up to speed.
By connecting to emotion and showing what's in it for them, you'll increase buy-in and adoption. After all, who wouldn't want to jump on board when they know what they gain from a change?
Go From Resistance To Resilience
Contact me to start your journey toward becoming an even more effective leader during change.
Let’s change better together.