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Overcoming resistance to change

Overcoming resistance to change

Change is emotionally draining on employees. To surmount resistance, companies must understand the underlying psychological barriers.

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Change initiatives that can be qualified as real successes are rare. All leaders know that it takes a lot of energy to transform an organization. While modifying the organizational structure and processes is relatively easy, people tend to dig in their heels where human behavior is concerned. Do they resist change out of bad will? Or are they simply unable to change? Faced with human inertia, even leaders who clearly see that the organization must change for its own good often lose hope and give up!

On an individual level, the problem appears to be almost identical. A person may be aware that he or she should change – show more initiative, collaborate more closely with colleagues, get better organized, listen more to people, etc. – but still continue to do things the same old way year in, year out.

As the authors of the analyzed publications observe, many psychological barriers must be overcome before people can successfully modify their behavior. To facilitate this process, leaders must:

– Foster awareness to help people truly feel the need to change.

– Encourage people to dare to adopt new behaviors.

– Provide ongoing support to prevent backsliding.

Synthèse n°168a


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