Your change resistors aren’t necessarily lazy, stuck, negative, or even “resistant.” Rather, they’re normal. Resisting change actually makes a lot of sense.
After all, if what you did yesterday worked—it got you through the day alive, fed, and healthy—why spend energy to do something differently? That’s a waste of time—unless there’s a good reason. To address this, start with the problem, not the solution.
When you start with the solution, you deprive your team of the understanding and connection that drove you to action.
Share the problem, then pause. Let it sink in. Then ask for their thoughts. This helps anchor the problem in their thinking. They explore the consequences and how it interacts with other issues.
Change always starts with desire or dissatisfaction. By introducing the problem and letting it sink in, you’re creating the same emotional connection that moved you. As the team discusses the issue, they are likely to start asking about solutions.
When someone asks you, “What do you think we should do?” resist the urge to answer immediately. Instead, continue to ask for their ideas. They may come up with ideas you haven’t considered—or they may arrive at the same solution you’ve thought through. Either way, you’ve cultivated curiosity, created ownership, and built momentum.
It may feel like this process takes extra time—and it does. But it’s fifteen or thirty minutes of time that prevents days, weeks, and even months of procrastination and foot-dragging. The team owns the problem and the solution. They’ve connected to the why and are ready for action. This small investment of time overcomes some common reasons people resist change.
With all of these challenging types, your approach and the conversations give them a chance to participate in a courageous, speak-up culture.
Related: The Key To Empowering Your Team
This article was originally published on Let's Grow Leaders.
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