Choices During Change – Resist or Reframe - Gateway to Learning

Choices During Change - Resist or Reframe

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Many employees will resist change. How they resist and the choices they make can influence the success of the change initiative, the morale of the team, the engagement of the employee and the impact on productivity and/or service. Often these choices are made unconsciously. Communicating openly and honestly and sharing the choices employees have and how their behavior will impact them, the team and the change is a critical step to managing employee resistance. Engage in conversation to help employees reframe their thinking versus resist the change.



Before Change: Before Change:
Learn about the change Talk badly about the proposed change
Ask how you can help Speak negatively about the university
Find out what you can do to prepare for the change Stop doing your responsibilities or do them carelessly
Display a positive outlook Speak negatively about people in the university
Encourage constructive conversations with peers
Be open and honest with your feedback regarding the change
Be curious
During Change: During Change:
Ask questions about the future Block progress or sabotage the change process
Ask how the change will impact day-to-day activities Talk negatively about the change
Provide input into the change Ignore the change/pretend that it’s not happening
Find out what new skills and abilities you will need to perform when the change is in place Prevent others from participating in the design or implementation of the change
Assess your own strengths and areas of growth
Identify training to fill skill gaps
Take advantage of the change to develop new skills and grow professionally
After Change: After Change:
Reinforce the change with peers, managers, etc. Avoid using the new work or processes
Help your team achieve the results expected from the change Talk negatively about the new work or processes to peers and encourage them not to use them
Avoid reverting back to old processes or ways of doing work when problems arise Talk negatively about the university with customers
Help solve problems that arise with the new work processes or tolls Revert to the “old way” of doing things when problems or challenges arise with the change
Have an “We can make this happen” attitude Take advantage of problems once implemented to argue why the change will never work
Have an “I told you so” attitude

Manager Tool for Addressing Resistance to Change

What comments have you heard or behaviors have you seen that indicate employees are resistant to the change you are implementing?

What do you think the underlying motivations for these reactions are?

Manager Self-Assessment:

Have you had a one-on-one conversation with individuals who are resistant to change to better understand their reaction?

Have you encouraged them to express their feelings and thoughts openly?

Have you remained curious and explored their concerns by asking clarifying questions?

Are you fully listening to their responses and genuinely trying to understand their perspective?

Have you communicated the benefits of the change?

Have you explored ways to engage them in the process so they feel more invested and accountable?

Have you incorporated any of their ideas or suggestions?

Have you thought about how you might be adding to their feelings of resistance?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above you may want to rethink how you’re addressing individual’s resistance to change.