6 Ways to Handle Resistance to Change

Understand that resistance to change is a natural condition of people. It is common to feel uncomfortable with changes that will occur in a family situation. For this reason, it is important to prepare ourselves to combat or mitigate resistance. Here we present some considerations when managing resistance to change.

 1. Do not ignore the resistance:

It is very important to understand that it is necessary andimperative to communicate the changes that will occur in the future with theaffected personnel. It cannot be assumed that all affected individuals or workgroups will accept the changes and adhere to the new conditions or rules in apositive way. On the contrary, it must be given as a fact that there will beresistance to change. Therefore, do not ignore the resistance and insteadprepare and develop strategies to mitigate the effects of it.

2. Identify anddefine the changes to occur:

It is crucial to identify what changes are required, as wellas the reasons for doing so and the consequences of maintaining the status quo.This understanding is key to communicating it to all affected people and willbe the foundation and focus to maintain once the transformation of the necessarychanges has begun.

3. Identify thegroups or people that will be affected:

By understanding and agreeing on the changes that must bemade, you will identify the people or groups that will be involved and affectedby the changes. Include those people or individuals who may be indirectlyaffected in order to keep them informed.

4. Establish anddevelop the strategy to use to communicate the changes:

Once the changes have been understood and agreed, thestrategy must be passed on. This refers to the decision to have clearguidelines about how the changes will be considered, when they will begin tocommunicate, how often and what method will be used. As you can see, manydetails come into play that must be discussed and agreed upon when defining thestrategy.

5. Understand themagnitude and complexity of the changes:

Many aspects must be taken into account including howcomplex the required changes are. Take into account the impact of these changeson the staff and also take into account the convenience or not within the usualwork schedule. That is, depending on the nature of the organization there maybe peak moments of production or provision of services where the risk of ademoralization of work groups cannot be taken, since it would affect the qualityof the product or service.

Remember that when making changes you have to study and takeinto account the staff to have them throughout the transformation. It is veryimportant to understand the pressures this can cause to the people who will beimpacted.

6. Open up yourfeedback channels to listen and address fears:

Once the communication begins to spread, establish channels,forums or means to attend, listen and understand what the affected people andstaff consider necessary to share. This will be a brilliant opportunity toestablish an interaction between both parties as it helps:

a) Dispel doubts or misunderstandings.

b) Listen to the points of view on the part of the peoplewho will be impacted.

c) Develop (based on feedback received) actions, communicationsor plans to mitigate potential problems, risks or misinformation.

d) Demonstrate the importance (by the organization) oflistening and attending to what others have to say about the proposed changes.

To conclude, we mention what should be taken into accountwhen you start a communication:

• Communicate what the change isand how that change is aligned with the objectives of the organization.

• Explain why this change isnecessary and advance the consequences or risks of ‘doing nothing’.

• Communicate how that changewill affect the organization, employees and third parties or communities whenthis applies.

• Recognize that the change canaffect employees in various ways and explain what plan or actions theorganization will take to minimize or prevent the unintended consequences ofchange among employees.

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