April 22, 2010

Three Mistakes to Avoid When Introducing Change

When attempting to facilitate change, we often make three common mistakes:

We limit our appeal to one side of the brain: left (analytical) or right (intuition and emotion).  Our stories about the future we envision must incorporate sufficient facts and emotional and aspirational appeal to connect with individuals who have a strong predisposition to one way of processing information.

We don't sufficiently help individuals see the specific benefits and implications the change holds for them … yes, the old WIIFM. Because we are already mentally invested in this new way of being/doing, we forget how much information others may need to transition from the way things are to the way we want them to be.

We too quickly dismiss concerns others raise as irrational or irrelevant.  "Oh that really won't be a problem."  Even if factually we are correct, our response comes across as defensive and unyielding to concerns others see as being valid.  Better to gather more information about people's questions and respond more thoughtfully.

Avoiding these common pitfalls won't guarantee success, but they'll definitely help move you in that direction.

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