Friday, May 1, 2015

The Psychologies behind the Changes

You don't need to be a psychologist to manage change, but you need to understand psychological emotions behind changes.

Change is the only constant, the speed of change is accelerated. Organizations have to manage change effectively in order to implement their strategy cohesively. However, more than two-thirds of change management fail to reach the expectation. Why do people resist changes? Relevantly to the strategic context and its necessities, what limit is this "collective worker" able to reach? To what conditions? What would be a good way to empower change capabilities. What’re the psychology behind the change, and how do you manage change not as a one-time project, but an ongoing capability?

Five domains of human experience: It would do good for Change practitioners to have a reasonably good understanding of neuroscience; since it does help understand people's responses to change. People respond in different ways to different situations, and some people perceive less risk when compared with others. The fear of consequences; the perception / response to consequences vary from person to person, and that's what makes change interesting and challenging. Hence, change practitioners need to have good critical thinking skills, high level of adaptability, communication and engagement skills. If look at changes via social neuroscience, you see that (1) People are naturally predispose to maximizing rewards and minimizing threats, (2) the part of the brain that are involved in organizing the “approaches” (perceptions/action/ response toward rewards) or the “withdrawal/retreat” (backing away action/response, from threats) in five domains of social (human) experience, namely: STATUS, CERTAINTY, AUTONOMY, RELATEDNESS, and FAIRNESS.

Life evolves and revolves around Hope, Fear, and Expectations. It is natural in human nature to fertilize Fear of loss much more than the Happiness of gains. Fear bridges Hope and Expectations. We build ourselves and events in our life on Hope and predict positive Expectations. People change when four conditions are in place: "we understand it, we like it, we can act, and we want to act." People love to change but fear loss. Take away the 'losses' (or perceived ones) and make people feel safe, they will do anything. The fear of change is common and rational. People do feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable in the face of "uncertainty" (their perception at any moment in time) - it is essentially this FEELING inside them that they are resisting - they do not want to experience it within themselves and so they push back on their own reality in the best way they know how. It is directly proportional to the perception of the potential impact and your ability to control the change. Fear is a ''natural'' reaction to risk existing in our imagination. The risk is the potential of losing something weighed against the potential of gaining something. Worry is all the hard work of working against the fear. The announcement of a change process causes a natural reaction (Fear) of losing something against the potential of gaining something ( Risk) and people Worry to allay the Fear and the cycle repeats until the potential of gaining exceeds the potential of losing. The effort converges toward persuading people to embrace or like what they do not naturally have spontaneous emotional tone with respect to situations or other people's actions; the self-help propaganda tries to stimulate people kindness, trust, benevolence and by utilizing the themes of nobleness and character building, manages their thoughts, or more correctly, have them to change their thought to conform to what is needed as potentially arbitrarily defined.

People like to change, but do not want to be changed and there is the difference. By nature we resist the changes, however, if we are part of it, is easier to shift to the new behavior. So the more transparent about a change effort, the less uncertainty (and consequently less fear) there will be about the effort. But that takes planning, decisive leadership, and the intestinal fortitude to be honest with people when the truth might not be pleasant to deliver. Too often than not, the hard choices are kicked down the road and when that happens, the "change effort" becomes a Petri dish that breeds angst, concern, cynicism, and contempt. People resist changing mostly because they have experienced disasters around previous efforts that they do not trust their leaders. Poor change experiences (unclear expectations, lack of compelling rationale, poorly designed implementation plan, unworkable designs created in corporate, changes that have stopped in the middle) all have created extra work and disruption for little or no gain. They hate thus resist being forced into senseless or avoidable sacrifices, having to restructure based on a shallow or ill-defined problems or transform without their assent, being cheated and being treated as objects.

Besides sound strategy, hard process and psychological understanding about people’s emotions, an important “soft” factor is TRUST: When you have the trust of your people, they will express their needs and wants for themselves and their job. This involvement and collaboration then open a door for them to accept the change.


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