Resilience can Change the Way People Feel About Change

An old Dutch saying reminds us that “Trust arrives on foot… but leaves on horseback” – and it turns out that  in an organisation, “change” can hit levels of trust very hard …as employees worry about their futures and often become resistant to new processes or roles.  Yet “resilience skills” can help to overcome this dilemma:

Here is a fascinating piece from the US  business publication “Chief Learning Officer”: Changing How People Feel About Change “Resilience training techniques can improve engagement and help people overcome their fears about change.”

The article explains that a 2017 report from the American Psychological Association says that “Americans who reported recent or current change were almost three times more likely to say they don’t trust their employer and more than three times as likely to say they intend to seek employment outside the organization within the next year.”

Yet CEOs  recognise that organisations need to change to grow or to compete… or  even just to survive. So the challenge is how to introduce change without losing trust and how to make employees positive about such change.

The CLO article continues: “ It’s not actually change that people hate. It’s the way they respond to and feel about change. In fact, that negative change response is completely natural. People have been conditioned to fear change over thousands of years of evolution. For early humans, that fear response was a matter of survival in a dangerous world. While the threats of today’s workplace are different, people still have an automatic and negative response to anything that is out of the normal!.”

By learning resilience skills then employees can come to change with their “logical brain “ rather than their “emotional brain”.

CLO explains: “While the emotional brain is powerful and can respond quickly to undermine thinking, the logical brain is actually more powerful when people have developed resilience skills. It’s what helps them be rational and solve problems. They can use it exert control over the emotional brain; to identify the triggers of stress and rein in the natural, emotional response. Resilience skills can help people beat negativity bias.”

IMO:  it make sense for any change management initiative to include a programme to boost resilience within the workforce at all levels.

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