Resistance to Change - 13 May 2008
One of the biggest health problems facing the Western world today is obesity. And yet despite all the endless media warnings of the increased likelihood of cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, arthritis and mortality, we are getting fatter, not slimmer.
The reason why so many of us resist a healthy lifestyle is the same reason why employees resist change at work. People resist change because they fear they're going to lose something. This risk of not having what they had before makes them push back even if the long-term benefits are positive
People who resist reducing their weight might have a fear of losing comfort, spare time, money, or ease - and so long as the fear of losing any of these factors is greater than the benefits which come with losing weight, they'll continue with their dangerous ways.
At work, the common elements which people fear losing during times of change include time, security, status, money, working conditions, freedom, authority, pride, friends, satisfaction and responsibility. Figure out specifically what it is that your employees are scared of losing as a result of the change and then really ramp up those one or two areas.
People aren't necessarily against change, but they are against being changed. There's a big difference. The difference is in perception. Being changed screams out make a sacrifice, whereas moving with change denotes going with the flow. In one case, employees feel like they're losing something, in the other they feel like they're gaining.
Identify what they're scared of losing, fix it, and you'll avoid a workplace heart attack.
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