Effective Strategies to Reduce Resistance to Change

Resistance is a normal part of any change process.  Understanding and managing it effectively can strengthen your change initiative.  Ignoring it is likely to either slow the change or worse, destroy it.

Some of the most common reasons that employees resist change are:

  • They have a low personal tolerance for change.
  • They don’t understand the reason for the change or it has been poorly communicated.
  • They distrust the change or the people implementing it.

iStock Resistance to Change Effective Strategies to Reduce Resistance to Change

Here are five effective strategies that Managers and Leaders can use to reduce resistance to change:

  1. Provide relevant and truthful information about what is changing and what is not.  Give realistic details of both the positives and negatives of the change and how it will impact staff.
  2. Don’t tell staff how they should feel.  Communicate truthfully and let them decide how they feel.
  3. If staff have objections about the change, ask clarifying questions to fully understand their objections.
  4. Listen empathetically and let them express their point of view without reproach.  Remember, often those staff who are the most outspoken about change are the ones who genuinely care about the organisation and making the change work.
  5. Involve staff as much as possible in the planning stages of change.  Ask for suggestions and where possible incorporate their ideas.  When staff feel engaged and heard, they are more likely to accept change.  Make sure that realistic feedback is flowing upward.

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