What’s your position on the change spectrum? Feeling stuck in your life? Have issues with changes in your life or trouble with adaptation to the new? Here are some change experiences I’d like to share.
Recently I’ve had some time to look back at my life. I had a brush up with cancer which temporarily put my life on hold. My sickness turned out to be just ‘light’ version of cancer as I like to put it. So far no chemo and just a Orchiectomy to fix me back up. In between the confirmed diagnose and the biopsy research results there is about a week of waiting. In this week you have no idea what’s coming for you. I experienced it as my life was on pause. What’s the use of stress, ambition and other worries if the results can be the end of me, was the explanation to myself. It resulted in a fly-out of my life and a total clear mind to ‘look around’ in a state near impossible to reach in a normal life i believe. One of the things I noticed was that I didn’t feel scared or worried about the change and I wanted to know why.. Shouldn’t I be scared? Worry about the future?
Embracing change or resisting can be viewed as a spectrum.
In tech a lot of time is spent not on building fancy IT stuff but convincing personnel and owners to ‘change’ to a new IT situation. I’ve always struggled to understand people that always ‘stick to the old’ and not be willing to accept the new, the fast, the always in my opinion better. Like me it can make it difficult for you to understand what’s going on with others somewhere else on the spectrum. How can we move others to a different place on the spectrum?
I needed to figure out how we can improve the assessment of others on this spectrum of change. What is running through their minds, where are they on the spectrum. Can we make a formula? The formula of change resistance? I’d feel it would be a valuable tool. Applicable in any field I think, love, life, work etc etc. Ok let’s do it, here we go.
First we find a general idea of how to assess what to do in a situation where change resistance occurs. For me most easy to use is my work as an web specialist, so i’ll use that as an example but I’m sure it can be transferred to your issue too. Wether this is you trying to sell an idea to your spouse like moving abroad, convincing a grandmother getting into FaceBook is a good thing or selling your world changing startup idea to the world, you get my drift.
Some character traits I identified from tests that are being used that are important to change resistance:
Change will often require also a change from you on fields seemingly unrelated to what it is you’re tackling or trying to tackle with others. For inflexible persons this is a point where I think you’d have to be very weary that you don’t create a situation where too many things are happening at once. It could create fear due to the loss of control leading or fear of failure.
Change will for the not so adventurous seems risky. Risk management or clear and open discussions about risk should help you or the person in front of you. Give them some time to do their risk analysis.
I think an insecure person will find it more difficult to perform any kind of change. A big part of change is to be confident in what it is you are trying to achieve. If you are confident, the person you try to sell your change to will follow faster. If you are changing yourself you can train your confidence levels in all sorts of ways.
I think optimism and clear believe of a ‘good’ ending, no matter what makes change easy. The doomsday believers wil struggle with changes. A negative person will be easy to find, you’ll have the most difficult time convincing a person that only sees negative outcomes though.
It matters a lot what kind of change it is people are committing themselves too. If it doesn’t have their hearts or passion I think change is too soon for you or the person across the table. Making a change ‘live’ in their life by concrete examples, prototypes, previous experiences or you taking on a different role for a while can help here.
Resourcefulness can be covered well by the amount of documentation or help you provide. When it’s you running into a lack of creativity that prevents a change, don’t try the change alone for example. Team up for your change or ‘join’ the team of the person going through the change.
Communication ambiguity tolerance resistance will also increase change embracement levels. Vague or woolly communication will increase resistance. In all changes it’s important to be as clear as possible with concrete examples. To yourself and to others. Your not going to “increase marketing levels”, you’re going to be on “top 5 Google results, which gives 100 more leads a week”. Evade ambiguity to get people on board.
During a change things will not always go as planned. Trust in you or yourself during a change helps people with low tolerance for the unexpected. Have a backup plan or learning dynamic skills like the one skill I’ve wrote about before will increase your tolerance or the people going through changes.
A for example simple 0 to 3 scores on all fields should a great tip for a simple formula of change embracement or resistance. When we assess all these it should be clear cut for us wether we are ready for the change or not. Or wether change is even an option for what we trying to achieve with others of ourself. Or find our what issues we will run into.
Not in all situations, change will be the right choice. You can push as hard as you can but you’d probably just wear yourself out. In politics i guess they use this the other way around. Making us fear and worry on any of these fields will surely increase resistance to a change of ‘team’ or opinion. It’s a fine line between creation of opinion or manipulation..
I guess what I’d like to share with this insight is understanding that an initial response to change is just the identification of the current position on the change spectrum. An understanding of the variables makes it more easy to understand others and yourself and use this to our advantage.
What change did you resist lately or are you resisting for a long time? When were you being manipulated? Let me and the readers know 🙂