Leading through Change

What is Change?

Change occurs when something ends and something new or different begins.  Between these two points is comes transition.  It is here that people have to learn to let go of the old and embrace the new, which can cause a degree of stress.  Change often requires people to move out of their comfort zone.


One of the strongest responses we experience during any change is a sense of loss.  Unless this is managed, people cannot move on.  Types of loss include:





Sense of direction



How people respond depends on:


  • The speed of change
  • The amount of control they have over the change
  • The degree to which the change impacts on them
  • How much it affects their values
  • Personality type and personal history


How Can You Handle Resistance?

Some form of resistance to change is common.  It occurs for many reasons, including fear of the unknown, concern about being left worse off,  perceived loss of power, and other forms of loss.


To manage resistance, you need to:

  • Encourage people who express resistance in order to get discussion underway.  It is important to acknowledge objections as real and respond to them.
  • Create an atmosphere that fosters honest communication. 
  • Be clear and honest about what the likely costs of the change will be so that everyone has an accurate picture and your credibility is enhanced. 
  • Help people understand the individual implications of change so that resistance is identified, and can be brought to the surface and overcome.
  • Overcome valid objections by determining what the objectors have to gain from the change — then present the change to them by presenting ‘what’s in it for them’.
    • Communicate 8-10 times more that you might normally throughout the change process. This sounds like a lot of course – the point is keep people fully informed about what is happening and about to happen, constantly.



Some questions to reflect on:

  1. What is changing around us at present?
  2. How are people responding to that? How am I responding?
  3. How can I help others to navigate change more openly and successfully?
  4. What support do I need during this time of change?


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