How does our personal journey’s effect our work life? After I began to read Finding My Voice, My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward by Valerie Jarrett, I began to ponder on this question. Valerie shared her most intimate journeys from her failed marriage to her most successful career journey. Her life map surely penetrated her career path. I believe we take our life experiences and weave them into our career life’s. As a manager, it can be something as simple as understanding how it must feel for a single mother to juggle daycare and work, because you were a single mom.
If you have every had to implement changes in a leadership role you may have been faced with individuals who fight you from every direction and you wondered to yourself what’s wrong with these people? I can remember assisting an agency with rolling out a new computer program and their staff would continue to use paper and pencil and made up every reason why this system would not be successful.
What I learnt is that resistance to change is inevitable. And that our responses to this resistance maybe unhelpful. Our responses to resistances maybe that we tell ourselves things like- well there just resistant to change or they're just being stubborn, or we take it personal. I’ve learnt not to address the resistance behavior head on, because the resistance behavior is not the real problem.
The real problem is what you don't see on the surface, we see resistant behaviors, which is a reaction to change, but we don't see the underlying condition that prompted that behavior in the first place. I began to think of the behavior as a symptom like when you have the flu- you may cough. The real problem is that you have the flu. Resistance behavior is like the flu, we see the resistance behavior on the surface, but what we don’t see is the underlying cause of the resistance. We may not see that the employee may not be clear about their job responsibilities, or the computer system is a major distraction to their 5 year routine, or that we may not see that they are upset because they were not involved in the decision making on what computer program should be implemented. When people resist change there is something going on beneath the surface, we must uncover the true source of the resistance, we must understand the experience of the change from their point of view. Confronting resistance to change from another angle, uncover the real resistance agitator.
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” —Peter Senge
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” —Peter Drucker