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Guide: Getting Buy In for Workplace Change - Fears vs Gains

Guides for Workplace Strategy and Management

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Overcoming Fears with Gains Matrix page 1 > NEXT: fears of executives, managers and workers and appropriate resolution for each Everyone wants to get past the "good idea" stage or limited pilots, but when you really try to roll out a telework program or institute hoteling in a large organization, you quickly discover significant pushback to change. It's often this human element, this genuine resistance from individuals, which stalls the whole effort and prevents well-planned, beneficial change from having a meaningful, lasting impact. Use the guide to see how to identify and overcome the fears behind such resistance. What causes resistance? We as humans don't like change because we fear the unknown and we fear loss of something. When the subject is as important or as fundamental as the way we work and the desk we "have" to do work at, the fears are as large as the perceived change. To overcome resistance and gain buy-in, we have to ad-dress people's fears. That requires Persuasion, Influence and Participation. Dr. Robert Cialdini pointed out important aspects in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion which relates to understanding and overcoming these Fears: • Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor • Commitment and Consistency - people tend to honor commitments they make orally or in writing • • Liking - People are persuaded by other people that they like Scarcity - Perceived scarcity generates demand How to overcome the resistance? Since the resistance comes from individuals' fears, the way to overcome the resistance is to understand those fears, resolve each fear or exchange some gain for each fear, and tailor the response to each audience. Resistance generally comes from three different groups (executive management, middle management and the employees) and the response to each group must be spe-cific to that group in order to be effective. Some of the questions answered in this Fears vs Gains Matrix include: • Who is the person resisting change? • What is the cause of the resistance to change? • What is the proper response to the resistance?

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