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Overcoming Resistance to Change
We prefer to do what we have always done. We tend to eat the same foods we have always eaten. We listen to the same music we have always listened to. We buy the same brands we have always purchased. The point is this: not only do we strongly prefer the status quo, we significantly overvalue what we already do. This makes anything new somewhat suspect.
We resist change because we value what we do right now. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. It’s ours. To compound this inertia, studies show that the longer we own or do something, the more we value it. This makes even small change incredibly hard.
When introducing a new idea, process, or initiative, it is important for leaders not to deny the value of the status quo. In fact, speaking about how what we’re doing now provides considerable value is essential to encourage a mind open to change.
Instead of making the case for something new, the best leaders invite people to try the new thing with them. In other words, rather than attempting to persuade others to do something unfamiliar, the most persuasive leaders include others as they themselves experience the change.
We try new foods when others at the table offer us a taste. The best leaders do the same thing when they invite others to join them in change. People will try the new thing as long as it begins with a sample offered by those who are already engaged in the change.
Would you like a taste?