Why people resist change

At some point in our careers we’ve been faced with situations where change seems so obvious to us (and at times necessary) but others feel the exact opposite.

Frustration continues to increase the harder we try and the more resistance we face.

What is the underlying problem? Essentially, why do people resist change?

  • Some people just can see what’s in it for them or their team. Maybe the change wasn’t clearly articulated. If people can’t visualize an improvement to their well being, they likely won’t be supportive.
  • Unfortunately some people are just lazy. And maybe that wasn’t always the case. Some people may be nearing retirement and just want to “ride the wave” so to speak. A change represents a disruption to their cozy work life which represents additional work for some.
  • People in managerial or supervisory positions may feel threatened. They could feel that a drastic change could eliminate the need for their position/role. What they may not realize is that it could also open the door for other positions that may be better suited for them.
  • Others get extremely stressed out over change. Some people lose sleep, start to lose their memory, skin conditions appear, or they develop digestive problems. It is important to create an environment where it’s ok to say you’re stressed and provide assistance to those that need it.
  • It a lot of cases people want to play it safe. Even though they know the current way of doing things may be ineffective and inefficient, they would rather continue along rather than take a risk. This is where developing a growth mindset vs. fixed mindset makes a huge difference.
  • Many organizations simply don’t have a culture that supports change. The proverbial “red tape” gets in the way and those that are trying to make change give up or leave the organization altogether. ┬áManagement support is necessary for change.

Final Thoughts:

Change is not easy but each of us can make an effort and it starts in our daily lives. If we strive to live outside of our comfort zone so much so that our discomfort zone becomes our comfort zone, change will seem like an everyday part of life.

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