Organisations can be both fascinating and frustrating. When things are going well you are always wanting to strive to keep that positive feeling going. On the other hand when things are tough and something needs to change, it can be a different proposition altogether.
In any situation where there is a need for change, there are going to be some who just want to get on with right now. Others who will come on board reasonable early on, those who will take longer and some who will resist as long as they can.
Leaders expect challenge. They don’t pretend that they have all the answers and are willing to take on board others ideas.
“It Won’t Work”
Now if this is based around some clear evidence from another organisation where it was tried and did not work out, it may have some validity.
Often this is not the case. It’s an opinion rather than based on any evidence or facts.
So how can you respond to this if you are leading change?
The temptation is to respond to the negativity by being negative yourself. This does nothing to improve the situation and in many ways just impacts on your credibility.
Questions are a great way of getting to the heart of the issue or problem that someone is having with change.
Start with a broad question like what won’t work? Chances are you will get some sort of response along the lines of what you are suggestion.
Probe a little deeper with something like what specifically won’t work? Hopefully you may get some sort of shift (but you may have to push a little bit).
Keep probing and listen really well to the concerns that are being raised.
Ultimately you want to get to a point where you can ask a question like what’s possible. At this stage you hopefully have got someone out of blocking and into suggestion mode.
Accept It As Part Of The Change Process
In the ideal world everyone would embrace change from the start. In the real world this is never the case. Accept that dealing with objections like it won’t work is just part and parcel of the process of delivering change.
Goals and Achievements work in partnership with public sector and not for profit organisations to deliver change and improvement.