In ‘Resistance to Change. Fear of Temporary Incompetence’ … I shared some ideas on how to work with resistance to change:
Fear of temporary incompetence
- During the transition process, you do not feel competent because you have given up the old way and have not yet mastered the new one. Edgar Schein
Working with change people and companies need to recognize a disconfirmation of their current way of doing things. This disconfirmation can be enough to trigger a need to change. However, if learning the new skills and ways that this change entails is more anxiety producing than the need to change…change will not occur.
In order for the change to happen the anxiety of learning the new skills and behaviors that the change requires must be lessened. Making the new learning and skills feel natural and safe as possible.
How to work with this?
- It is NOT helpful to fight and argue
- It is helpful to listen, agree and cooperate. Talk to discover slightly different viewpoints for cooperation
- Make failure and learning part of the objectives
- Instead of making them more anxious. Make the learning easier
- Use how each person and the team responds as a chance to make the learning even easier
- Once the team and I found what works we kept doing more of that
Instead of making them more anxious. Make the learning easier
- This proved to be counter-intuitive to the Human Resources person that was working with me. She stated, “They always do this and we are going to have to prove that this is NOT going away and they will complete this training!” YIKES!…
- Instead of viewing the resistance as an issue it gave me a chance to see how each person and the team as a whole cooperates.
- Keeping the participants in control of their own learning and trying small field assignment with the team.
- It was something like, Between now next week when we meet, can each of you to try one small thing. You have the Goal Setting & Time Span content and field assignment. When you arrive at work flip a coin. Heads you will take 15 or less minutes to frame your goals in the QQT/R method; Tails you do nothing different. They all agreed.
- The task assignment allowed each person to choose how to best use their own time. Plus it reduced their anxiety about learning & applying a new management skill.
What do you think?
What other steps can be taken to make the learning easier? When others and you want to force people into change, what works? Does the coin flipping and time limit approach make sense?
michael cardus is create-learning