People are at the heart of your organizational change initiative. Being mindful of how they react, both positively and negatively, can help you prepare your leaders to help their teams through the change.Positive Reaction to Change - When perceived reality matches expectations, people gain a sense of control over the organizational change.
Even when people are looking forward to a change, they will resist it at some level. For an example, think about the process of buying a house, and how a buyer will step through the various stages in the curve below (i.e., buying a house sounds like a great idea until the reality of costly repairs sets in. Over time, living in the house hopefully has more rewards than negatives, so the person emerges with a more informed, but still positive view of the experience).
Change management is similar when people react positively to change. The key is to understand where they are on the curve, and get them to "Informed Optimism" soon!
Negative Reaction to Organizational Change- When the perceived reality about the change does NOT match a expectations, people may feel as though they are losing control and it is challenging to adjust to the changes they were unprepared to make.
When people have a negative reaction to change, they go through seven distinct, predictable phases (based on the human grief process as researched by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross). While the first phases are uncomfortable, you can equip your leaders to manage through the phases and eventually get them to "Acceptance."
Want to learn more about how reactions to change may impact your future or current organizational change project? Let's talk today to ensure your success!