John Kotter talks about the Eight Errors that we make when implementing change.
The Eight Errors are interesting concepts and Error Four - Undercommunicating the Vision by a Factor of Ten – is really relevant for all the participants we will be working with over the next month.
Communication can never be underestimated when working through change, and we have spoken about this over the last couple of blogs. But this short blog will consider change from a different angle…the fear of change and six steps to assist others when they are fearful of change.
The fear of change
The fear of change is often difficult to move through. People who are fearful of change may see the change; they may understand the change; they comprehend the need. However, they, no matter the convincing, remain fearful of what is uncertain - the leap into the unknown.
The concept of “if things don’t change, we get in a rut and end up going nowhere” is not unfamiliar but nevertheless, the fear remains.
What can be done?
Are there any steps to be taken to assist people to move beyond their fear?
Here are six steps that may assist.
- Spend time acknowledging that there will be stress during the time of change and to remain in the current state is not an option.
- Develop thinking processes to visualise the new opportunities that will arise from the change.
- Consider consciously rewording conversations…challenging can’t and won’t.
- Assist the mind shift through speaking about the positive history of change.
- Think through the steps of change so that people can move into newness in steps – not leaps.
- Extend the concept of steps and encourage each step to be seen as a growth phase rather than another step towards the fear.
Remember to avoid Kotter’s fourth error – keep the communication happening.