Management Psychology: Why your staff resist to change 

Management Psychology: Why your staff resist to change 

Every manager is aware of when employees refuse to change. Employees may fear the transfer of authority, the challenges of learning new skills, or the strain of joining a new team, which is understandable at times. In other circumstances, the resistance is far more sophisticated. An employee has the ability and intellect to change quickly, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the firm, and has expressed genuine support for change — but does not take action. in a confused way.

Management Psychology: Why your staff resist to change 

Every manager is familiar with employees that refuse to adjust. Employees often fear power transitions, the challenges of learning new skills, and the pressure of joining a new team. In certain circumstances, the resistance is far more sophisticated. An employee has the ability and intellect to change easily, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the organization, and has expressed genuine support for change — but does not take action. In a perplexing way.

What is happening? Resistance to change does not imply opposition or lethargy. Instead, even when they really want to change, many people mistakenly devote their efforts to some secret self-contradictory commitment. A tilted dynamic balance prevents what looks to be an attempt at resistance, but is actually a method for denying change.

In this article, we’ll look at self-contradictory pledges and walk through a method for assisting employees in overcoming reluctance to change. This procedure appears straightforward, but it is by no means quick or easy. On the contrary, it investigates the psychological underpinnings that govern human behavior. It causes people to question long-held views, often dating back to childhood. It also demands people to acknowledge uncomfortable and even shameful memories that they would not typically discuss with anybody, including themselves. Indeed, many people will opt not to intervene in this resistance to change, preferring to continue their futile struggle with self-contradictory convictions.

As a manager, you must help employees through this process with understanding and compassion. If you want your employees to engage in honest self-examination and disclosure, they must realize that their disclosures will not be used against them. The purpose of this self-discovery is to assist them become more productive, not to look into their job or personality problems. When you help employees articulate and examine their deepest assumptions, you may feel like a psychological researcher. Managers, in some ways, function as psychological researchers. After all, helping people overcome their limitations in order to achieve greater success at work is at the heart of effective management.

“Helping employees overcome their limitations and become more successful is at the heart of effective management.”

#1. The story of “Build something on sand”

Self-contradictory commitments cause valued personnel to behave in confusing and difficult-to-justify ways, which management finds tremendously aggravating.

Consider a manager, Anna, who is a rising star at a major production business. Anna was tasked with raising the output of the company’s most famous product, but she was at a standstill. When her supervisor, Jack, learned that an important deadline was approaching in two months and she still hadn’t given a progress report, he summoned her to a meeting to discuss the project. Anna agrees that she is much behind schedule and understands that she is postponing team building. But she also demonstrated a true desire for the initiative to succeed. The two of them devised a detailed strategy to refocus the project, and Jack believed the problem was fixed. However, three weeks after the meeting, Anna still had not formed the implementation team.

Why couldn’t Anna modify her behavior? After a lengthy self-examination session with a few coworkers, she came to an unexpected conclusion: although she genuinely wanted the project to succeed, she was unaware that she had another commitment that matched her desire. aims to maintain a place below Jack’s level. Anna was anxious that if she completed her new project, which she was very thrilled about, she would be on equal footing with him rather than below him. She is unsure whether Jack is ready for a change in their hierarchical relationship. Worse, if she was promoted, she would be ultimately responsible for the job results, rather than Jack, and Anna was concerned that she was unprepared for the position.

This narrative gives light on the nature of resistance to change. The contradiction between Peter and Anna’s professed intentions and their actions reveals self-contradictory commitment rather than a subtle, disingenuous unwillingness to change. Any manager who wishes to assist Peter communicate more effectively or Anna promote a project without realizing that they are both unwittingly working against an opposite aim is wasting their time.

#2. Diagnosing Change Denial

Self-contradictory commitment not only puts pressure on managers, but also frustrates personnel. The most earnest people frequently produce unintentional repeats, such as Sisyphean retribution. They are frequently relieved to learn why they feel as if they have rolled a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again. Although becoming aware of a self-contradictory promise can provide additional challenges, it can also provide hope for completing the first expressed commitment.

Diagnosing Change Denial

Let’s explore this through the following questions:

Question 1: What changes would you like to see at work that will allow you to be more productive or improve your performance?

The response to this question is nearly always in the form of a complaint, a sort of communication that most managers despise for being negative and ineffectual. However, complaining can be incredibly useful. People grumble about the things that are most important to them. With a little effort, anyone can transform those familiar, demotivating complaints into something that empowers and motivates—a commitment to oneself.

Question 2: What level of dedication does your complaint imply?

Mr. Adam, a team leader on a collaborative project, complained, “My subordinates do not keep me updated on important developments in the project I am in charge of.” The complaint includes the line, “I want open and honest communication.” Ms. Mary, a line manager, bemoaned her hesitation to share thoughts in meetings, expressing a desire for everyone to make decisions together.

Even when making such commitments with perfect sincerity, people can nearly always identify some way in which they may be partially responsible for the commitment not being met.

Question 3: What are you doing, or not doing, to prevent your commitment from becoming a reality?

In our experience, people can always detect disruptive behavior within a few seconds. Adam, for example, confessed, “When someone gives bad news, I often vent my anger on them.” Mary also stated that she hasn’t allocated much work and that she doesn’t always provide all of the information necessary for individuals to make sound decisions.

In both cases, there may be numerous factors contributing to these impairments, but it is evident that Adam and Mary exhibit actions that affect those around them. Most individuals immediately identify this in themselves and remark, “I have to stop doing that.”

Indeed, Adam promised twice to listen more openly to potential concerns that could slow down his proposal. However, the goal of this practice session was not to make these tendencies go away, or at least not right now. The idea is to understand why people behave in ways that undermine their own success.

Question 4: Do you feel uneasy, anxious, or slightly terrified when you envisage yourself engaging in the opposite of damaging behavior?

Adam pictured himself calmly and publicly receiving negative news about the project and concluded, “I’m afraid I’ll hear about a problem that I can’t fix, that I can’t do anything about.” What about Mary? She contemplated giving people greater freedom to select and realized that, frankly, she was concerned people would not make good choices and she would be compelled to accept a solution that she believed would result in lower outcomes.

Question 5: What consequence do you hope to prevent with this act of sabotage?

The solution lies in the self-contradictory commitment that underpins opposition to change. Adam stated, “I don’t want to know about problems that I can’t solve.” By scaring his colleagues, he prevented them from disclosing bad news, allowing him to avoid the risk of losing control of the project.

Mary is also protecting herself from the consequences of poor judgments. “I want to make sure my team doesn’t make decisions I don’t like.”

Such revelations might be extremely embarrassing. While initial pledges frequently reflect lofty aspirations that people can proudly proclaim from the rooftops, self-contradictory commitments are deeply personal, expressing the flaws they fear they will commit. harming your reputation in the eyes of others and yourself. People hide them without thinking about it, and if discovered, they hastily cover them up.

Self-contradictory commitments should not be considered a weakness. They symbolize a defense, a perfectly reasonable and understandable human instinct. The point is, if self-contradictory commitments are used for self-defense, what are they protecting themselves from?

The solution is frequently found in what we refer to as “grand assumptions,” which are strongly held ideas about ourselves and our surroundings. These assumptions describe the world’s laws while also suggesting how the world can breach them. These assumptions give rise to self-contradictory commitments, which automatically motivate behavior that conforms to the norms.

#3. Understand the Big Assumptions

People rarely recognize they have large assumptions because they accept them as fact. Assumptions, which are frequently made long ago and rarely rigorously evaluated, are woven into the fabric of humanity. However, with a little assistance, most people can easily identify them, particularly once they are aware of their self-contradictory commitments.

To accomplish this, we first asked participants to construct a statement by reversing the self-contradictory promise, then asked them to fill in the blanks. In Adam’s sentence (“I don’t want to hear about problems I can’t solve”), the subjunctive sentence would be, “I assume that if I hear about problems I can’t solve, people will know I’m unqualified for this position.”

Mary’s major assumption is that the people on her team are not wiser or more experienced than she is, and that if she loses control, she will squander her own and others’ time.

This is a challenging process that does not occur all at once, as revealing huge assumptions makes them uncomfortable. This process can give a name to intensely private emotions that people are unwilling to express, such as deep-seated anxieties or insecurities, a jaded or blunt perspective of human nature, or boasts about one’s superior abilities or intellect.

Unquestioning acceptance of major beliefs promotes and sustains a denial process. A self-contradictory commitment makes sense, and the individual continues to participate in activities that contribute, if unconsciously, to the failure of the declared “official” commitment.

Only by bringing major assumptions to light can people confront them and understand why they are engaged in seemingly contradictory conduct.

#4. Question about the Big Assumptions

After confirming their self-contradictory commitments and the assumptions that support them, most people are ready to take immediate action to overcome their denial. However, the approach begins with observation rather than action, which can be difficult for successful people who are accustomed to solving problems by taking action.

Let’s look at these processes in greater detail.

Step 1: Recognize and record the current actions.

Employees must be mindful of what may or may not occur when making assumptions as fact. We particularly advise people not to make any substantial adjustments in thinking or conduct at this time, but rather to become more conscious of their actions based on major assumptions. This allows people to gain an awareness of how and under what conditions major assumptions influence their life.

Step 2: Look for evidence that shows the opposite.

Next, personnel must look proactive in dealing with circumstances that may call into question the validity of their grand premise. Because huge assumptions are accepted as realities, they frequently influence how individuals perceive things, enabling them to unconsciously (systematically) pay attention to certain information while avoiding or ignoring others.

By encouraging people to look for situations that cause them to rethink their assumptions, we help them realize that they have blocked out specific forms of evidence that could undermine the certainty of a great assumption.

Because huge assumptions are accepted as realities, they frequently influence how individuals perceive things, enabling them to unconsciously (systematically) pay attention to certain information while avoiding or ignoring others. other.

Step 3: Study history.

In this stage, we become “biographers” of our own assumptions. When and how did these assumptions gain hold? How long have they been around? What are some of their movements?

This stage frequently leads people back to previous experiences, almost always to times before their current job and connections with coworkers. This backtracking frequently leaves people dissatisfied with the foundation of their key assumptions, particularly when they realize they have followed them to where they are and changed their perspective on experience over many years.

Understand the situations that influence the formation of your liberating assumptions and consider whether these beliefs are affecting you now.

Step 4: Test assumptions.

This stage entails generating and performing a tiny test against a huge assumption. This is the first time we have encouraged people to consider changing their behavior. Each employee should devise a scenario and request that a partner act as audio logistics to carry it out.

Step 5: Evaluate the results.

Employees finalize the process by evaluating test findings, designing and running new tests, and questioning major assumptions.

It’s worth mentioning that the major assumption disclosed isn’t always incorrect. However, even if a huge assumption contains some truth, an individual can find a more productive method to operate once they have had the opportunity to evaluate that assumption while it remains present in their behavior.

#5. Explore Your Own Denial

As you go through this process with your employees, keep in mind that management is just as subject to denial as the rest of the staff, so self-contradictory commitments and enormous assumptions can have a significant impact on those around you.

Returning to Anna’s narrative, when we did this exercise with her supervisor, Jack, he was also dealing with some personal issues. While he wants his subordinates to succeed, Jack believes that only he can meet his high standards, thus he is working in a self-contradictory commitment to maintaining complete control over your project.

He unwittingly communicated his lack of confidence to his subordinates, including Anna, in a subtle manner. Finally, Jack and Anna’s self-contradictory commitment inadvertently reinforces each other, making Anna independent of Jack while allowing Jack to dominate her project.

Anna and Jack are still working through this process, but they have learned essential insight into their own conduct and how it impedes progress. This may appear to be a modest step, but bringing these concerns to the forefront and confronting them head on is challenging and painful—but extremely successful.

Finally, it allows managers to see the true experiences of people who genuinely want change but end up digging their own graves.

This is not about recognizing unproductive behavior and developing a systematic plan to rectify it, as if treating the symptoms would cure the sickness.

This is not about persuasion, hiding, or making poor decisions. It is about comprehending the complexities of human behavior, guiding them through an effective process for bringing their self-contradictory commitments to the surface, and assisting them in confronting the internal conflicts that are stopping them from attaining their objectives.

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7 steps of the basic translation process 

Each LSP has its own translation method, which can be tailored to the needs of the customer. However, in general, LSPs must assure adherence to a defined procedure. In this post, AM Vietnam will outline seven fundamental stages that all professional translation efforts must follow.

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Management Psychology: Why your staff resist to change 

Every manager is aware of when employees refuse to change. Employees may fear the transfer of authority, the challenges of learning new skills, or the strain of joining a new team, which is understandable at times. In other circumstances, the resistance is far more sophisticated. An employee has the ability and intellect to change quickly, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the firm, and has expressed genuine support for change — but does not take action. in a confused way.