10 Steps to Manage Psychological Resistance to Change

10 Steps to Manage Psychological Resistance to Change

“Let’s keep things the way they are,“ says the psychological resister. Of course, that’s not going to happen. But those who resist change disrupt change efforts. In this post, we look at recognizing psychological resistance to change.

In a nutshell, psychological resistance to change is the behaviour of anyone who is attached to current circumstances and has a low-level of confidence towards change.

Psychological Resistance to Change

Let’s be clear, psychological resistance to change can undermine the effectiveness of your message about change and should be addressed early in the change initiative.

People are unwilling to try new things because they may be less successful than the previous ones. They also see the cost of changing greater than the benefits and probably have a low-level of tolerance for uncertainty.

Therefore, it is critical for the change leader to overcome such resistance and to promote sustainable and positive behaviours among the groups affected by change.

Recognizing the Signs of Psychological Resistance to Change

Here are some pointers for recognizing the signs of psychological resistance to change:

  • A preference to keep things the way they are.
  • A low-level of tolerance for ambiguity.
  • General mistrust and a loss of confidence in the change leader and management: “They don’t know what they’re doing!”
  • A focus on the cost of change and not the benefits.
  • Denial: “It’s not going to happen.”
  • Concerns about job security.
  • Low morale and the problems this brings.

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