No one likes change. It challenges everything that we know and have accepted as “comfortable”. But, nevertheless, change is a part of life – both within the workplace and within our personal lives. As a manager who oversees a team, prepare to meet even a little resistance when you have to report and implement new processes or systems with your team.
Resistance in the workplace can be both passive and aggressive. Griping at lunch, walking around with a sour look, working slowly or using old processes are all types of passive responses to a change that has unsettled your staff. On the more vocal side, speaking out in meetings or continually pointing out flaws in the new system can be seen as more overt road blocks to a smoother transition. Make no mistake: Change is not the easiest of roads to travel. You must pass through at least a couple of construction zones before you reach a level path once again.
What type of resistance might be encountered?
There are four types of change styles that we are going to assess. These styles have been encountered before when speaking about communication in the workplace between manager and team members. So, they may sound familiar to you.
- Adventurer – An adventurer is just that – willing to jump into the breach at least once. They are often gung-ho and the first ones on the bandwagon when change is imminent. This is both positive and negative. On one hand, they are easy to sway to your side. On the other hand, when they get bored, it is not unusual for them to buck the system, any system.
- Achiever – This person takes pride in taking action. They will be ready to get things done once they know that the company has decided on a new course of action. Give them concrete steps to follow and they will take the ball and run with it.
- Analyzer – As a more visual person, an analyzer will need to “see” the change in their mind before they will get behind your proposition. They are swayed by solid data that supports the decision. Otherwise, it will be a hard sell.
- Anchor – This change style involves staying grounded. It is hard to move them from the tried and true process in place because of their experience with its success. They romanticize the way things are and feel threatened by the way that the company now wants things to be.
Each one of these change styles has both positives and negatives. In order to communicate with a team member who exhibits one or more of these styles, become familiar with each one thoroughly.