In the last week I have seen several surveys including one from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). They are asking business leaders how their organization is handling change.
In the beginning of the Pandemic, I wrote about a case for change now. At that time many were in denial or just wanted to wait. They just needed to get through the traumatic times. Change and traumatic times might be here to stay. Now I am not referring to Covid-19 but I am simply saying that if you are going to wait until things (whatever they are) blow over you and your business are positioned to fail.
Why do people resist change? Why to people want to wait and see when the threat in front of them demands action?
Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change and create real progress. Here are some reasons why people are stuck and unable to make changes.
In our current situation the biggest obstacle is FEAR. This is not outside. Fear is internal; it’s in our head. Fear is the great crippler of human potential. There’s also an acronym that uses the letters F, E, A, and R that defines what fear is.
The second reason people resist change is because of EGO. The need to be right is a powerful human need. It’s a common problem with leaders, managers, and business owners. When was the last time you have heard someone so, “Well this is the way we have always done it”
The third reason why people resist change is to avoid CONFLICT. When you try to leave all the people back in their comfort zone called the “Land of Status Quo,” you’ll create and get some conflict. It’s not comfortable and it is not fun, so many people just avoid it all together.
The fourth reason that people resist change is LACK OF PURPOSE. Without a sense of purpose, people become stagnant and complacent. People get burnt out.
As a leader of yourself and others, you will need to overcome your own fear and help others overcome theirs by helping them change their mental attitudes that hold them back. You also must make sure that your EGO doesn’t get in the way.
By being open to new and different ways to view things, as well as being open to the feedback and insights of others, you create an atmosphere where change is not an “I’m right and your wrong” mentality.
In the short book, “Who Moved My Cheese”, a story is told of four characters who deal with change and loss. It illustrates that change is not about knowledge and skills but attitudes and behaviors and above all, conquering our fears. In the book cheese stands for what we define as success.
I think we need to accept and get comfortable with the fact that the cheese never stops moving. Get used to change and stay ahead by anticipating the next change.
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