If you have experienced change in the workplace, you have probably met some people who will only get on board when all the Is have been dotted and the Ts crossed.
In this podcast, Richard and Paul explore why this happens, and if you find yourself or those around you in this situation, how you can deal with it.
There are some people who only want to engage with any change at the last possible moment. It is like they only get involved when someone else has gift-wrapped the change plan, so they don’t have to take any ownership moving forward.
As frustrating as this can be for a leader, it can help to understand why it happens – which can then give you the tools to tackle it and get people to engage.
Refusal to get on board with change is often related to our natural avoidance of uncertainty. As humans, we like to know exactly what lies ahead and will avoid engaging with something which contains elements of doubt.
It’s simply not possible to create a gift-wrapped change that will suit everyone. People create a story in their own heads to fill in the gaps and uncertainties so, in a large group, everyone may have a different expectation of the change which often doesn’t match up with what is really happening.
Uncertainty usually results in an emotional reaction, as we discussed in our previous podcast. When our expectations of certainty clash with the reality that change means uncertainty, our natural instinct is to see it as a threat.
As leaders, we need to look at ways to tackle that emotional reaction and get people to respond more rationally.
Richard and Paul revisit the ICE strategy: giving Information to reassure people about what we know and being honest about what we don’t; presenting Choices to help people gain more control over what lies ahead, which drives the shift from emotional to rational; and helping people to Engage so they become part of the decisions and solutions needed to shape the change.
By using this approach, you can encourage people to let go of their need for gift-wrapped change and to accept uncertainty as a natural part of the process of change.