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I believe there are two kinds of people in this world:

  • People that love change
  • People that fear change

I happen to be one of those that love change. I look forward to new challenges, learning new things and continually improving.

So, why do some people fear change? According to the Harvard Business Review, there are 10 reasons why people resist change:

  1. Loss of control – change can interfere with autonomy.
  2. Excess uncertainty – “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
  3. The surprise when change happens quickly.
  4. Things seem different and we are creatures of habit.
  5. Loss of face if what is changing is something that you created or implemented.
  6. Concerns about competence – can I do it?
  7. More work – change does require work!
  8. The ripple effect – the change can disrupt other areas.
  9. Past resentment – change can be the catalyst for the opening of old hurts and wounds.
  10. It can hurt – at times, change can be a real threat.

If you are in a leadership role and responsible for rolling out a change within your organization, embrace transparency. Honestly let people know what the change is, why it is needed, what will be the challenges the organization will face if it doesn’t change, what are the ripple effects that may happen and give them the necessary time to digest the information and be ready to answer their questions and concerns.

If there are real threats to the change be sure to share them with those you are leading and help them brainstorm solutions so that there is minimal stress and damage to individuals. You may not be able to make them feel better about the coming change, but an effective leader can help minimize the related stress and fear.

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