• Read Wondering how to get buy in for change? 

    Change, Leadership

    Wondering how to get buy in for change? 

    I’m always leery of people who say they love change.  I wonder what they’re hiding behind their rosy façade.  We may learn to adapt to it, we may learn to recognize there is a huge advantage in staying agile and nimble, but at our core, we often downright fear it.  We resist it in overt (and sometimes very covert) subtle ways.  A new organizational change is announced, and I think silently to myself, “Yeah right, they’ve tried this before.  It won’t last.” And then I passive aggressively go about my business of doing exactly what I was doing before.  Or perhaps I resist more vocally rather than passively.  But the bottom line is we typically do resist.  When I teach a course on Leading Change, managers often complain about resistance and the challenge of getting buy in when it comes to change.  And a challenge it is indeed.  The trick in navigating it isn’t to push hard and fast to timetables and tactical schedules.  You’ll just get more resistance.  The trick is to take a step back and think about where the resistance is coming from.  And then take a more considered action.  When people resist change, it’s typically because one of our core needs have been threatened.  Core needs come in a few different categories.  Let’s take a look at them. Core Needs typically triggered by Change Initiatives Security – our most basic need.  The need to feel safe, that our livelihoods are protected, that we know where our next paycheck is coming from.  Think about the impact of the following actions on a person’s sense of security: Inclusion and Connection – another very basic need.  Humans crave a feeling of belonging, whether it’s a work or at home.  Power – or status, is an important driver for many people.  Change often accompanies a change in power or status for affected staff.  Have you ever experienced the following: Order and Control – there may be a few lucky folks who thrive in chaos, but many don’t.  Unclear expectations are the number one source of conflict in teams and change often precipitates these conditions.  Competence – accountability without competency is a recipe for disaster and often sets up an environment of blame and shame. Fairness and Justice – a lack of perceived fairness is one of the quickest ways to erode trust. Maybe you recognize previous actions you or others have taken as you look at the above list.  Chances are those actions were unintentional, and you had no desire to put others in a place of distress.  But when you’re getting resistance it’s important to think beyond compliance and think about the why.  The more you’re plugged into the core needs of those affected by the change, the better off you’ll be at navigating concerns. Coaching questions for thought: Shelley Pernot is a career and leadership coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their talents and step into their greatness.  Reach out to me here for a […]

    August 3, 2023


    4.6 min read