While facilitating a workshop, the participants, all senior leaders, began talking about how hard it is to get their people to buy-in to important changes. They described their workforce as resistant to change.
I asked them to think about themselves and recall the day they received word of their promotion…to remember all they thought and felt. When they shared their memory of the moment, they reported feeling excited! Thrilled! Proud! Goal accomplished! …and a little nervous, too. They said questions popped into their minds like, “Can I really do the job well?” Both reactions – their “YES!” and their “Oh, oh…” are natural and normal. They are a predictable response to change – even when it’s a change that’s clearly desired…in this case, one for which they had prepared and competed.
Dealing with change requires acknowledging resistance – whether it’s in you or in others – as a natural response we should expect and explore.