Two Crucial Questions in Challenging Resistance to Organisational Change or Improvement

We are all facing continuous, even disruptive change or improvement, aren’t we?

We have all experienced a natural resistance and even rejection of change, especially if it is forced upon us.

Whilst most of us eventually accept change that makes sense, some of us are very resistant for a variety of reasons, such as the effort to learn something new, stopping learned habits, feeling uncomfortable, or lacking confidence in being able to adjust.

In helping us all to move forward more readily, I assert that it is useful to ask two questions very early in the process.

The first question is “Do we have a rigid mindset or an adaptable mindset?”

The second question is “Is it worth resisting something over which we have little or no control?”

The Mindset Question

People with a rigid (or fixed) mindset tend to see things as permanent, limited and set; they believe it is too difficult to learn new things; that they have reached their capacity; that failure is final.

These people fight to survive, and can become ill through their efforts.

People with an adaptable (or growth) mindset tend to see things as changeable, evolving and fluid; they believe they can always learn something new; they can always grow their capacity and that failure is just feedback.

These people are thrivers, enjoy life more and can stay healthy longer.

Interestingly, most of us have both mindsets, where in some areas of our life or work we are rigid (e.g. I can’t learn that coding language, but I can learn this one; or I’m no good at cricket but I am good at tennis and getting better).

Social science tells us that we are limited only by our beliefs.

The Control Question

I believe this issue can be covered by quotes:

“We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations.”  L. Lionel Kendrick
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”  Wayne Dyer
“People who believe they have the power to exercise some measure of control over their lives are healthier, more effective and more successful than those who lack faith in their ability to effect changes in their lives.”  Albert Bandura
Leaders who are aware of these two questions and deploy them effectively and early, will implement successful change or improvement, better than those leaders who attempt to hammer home change with little understanding of how best to make that happen.

What have you experienced in preparing people for effective change or improvement?

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