In ‘Resistance to Change. Fear of Temporary Incompetence’ … I shared some ideas on how to work with the resistance to change:
Fear of temporary incompetence
- You do not feel competent during the transition process because you have given up the old way and have not yet mastered the new one. Edgar Schein
The managers did not value the content and initial management field assignment. I was called back in for an emergency meeting with the managers + their managers, + the Human Resources director.
How to work with this?
- It is NOT helpful to fight and argue.
- It is helpful to listen, agree and cooperate. Talk to discover slightly different viewpoints for cooperation.
- Make failure and learning part of the objectives.
- Instead of making them more anxious. Make the learning easier
- Use how each person and the team responds as a chance to make the learning even easier
- Once the team and I found what works we kept doing more of that
It is NOT helpful to fight and argue
- I went into the meeting ready to use their words against them.
- In the kick-off meeting, everyone was enthusiastic and all for this process. I took pictures of the ‘Pre-Animate list’ + ‘What do you need for this to be of value to you?’ + ‘Leveling questions of where each manager is now and what +2 looks like’ … Showed these to the team and asked what happened? THEY YELLED AT ME.
It is helpful to listen, agree and cooperate. talk to discover slightly different viewpoints for cooperation
- Deep breathe, and we tried again.
- This time I said This all sounds challenging. I agree this is a sizable commitment. I am impressed at how you manage to be so caring while getting your work done to the quality needed. In the past, when you were asked to try a new way of working, what worked best for you? For this group?
- Then I listened and captured what was said on the whiteboard.
- That Worked! We had a very open discussion about time, project pressures, unclear expectations from the start, and what the team and each person needed to move forward in this process.
Once it was clear to everyone that this was not about me…it was about them, and my role was to find cooperation and support their work, the focus and conversation changed.
What do you think?
Have you defended your work to people who thought it was not useful? What did not work for you? What did work? What did you ask/do to move the work forward?