Those Who Resist Change – Part 2

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

This post builds on the last post wit ha similar title.

Here are a few things to consider.

1. Conduct a personal assessment of our beliefs with regard to people in our organization. Do we tend to view certain people as strong supporters – those people who are like us and put the best interests of the organization over petty concerns!. And identify those people who seem to be perpetual resistors – those people who can’t be counted on.

2. Our views of this second group are important. If we believe that there are people who lack the good will, talent, and commitment that we possess, then we are likely to see a distorted picture of these people. So we may be more likely to create win-lose scenarios when thinking of them, and avoid opportunities to search for common ground, so that all can win from whatever this change is.

Even if the evidence supports our view of these people, once our “bias” kicks in, it will limit our options. Effective players on the international stage are willing to talk to countries they dislike. Without a willingness to, at least, engage, we are limited to just win-lose.

3. Avoid knee-jerk reactions. These are the automatic things that we say or do when something about the other individual or group gets us emotionally. These quick reactions often get us in trouble. You can read an excerpt from my book, Why Don’t You Want What I Want by downloading the PDF on knee-jerk reactions.

4. Constantly remind ourselves that win-lose tactics should be a last resort. The costs of battle can be enormous. We could lose. We could create animosity for decades to come. (Think of some of the union-management struggles that date back to the 1930s.) We could lose talented people. We could make our organization an undesirable place for people looking for work. Our personal reputation could suffer.

If it is true that we are hard-wired to think like hawks, then we need to constantly keep in mind this possible bias and its potential impact. I wish us all well.