This negativity can be toxic. During change most people have concerns, fears and doubts AND there is a way to manage them to acknowledge and leverage them for positive resolution.There is some strong research that suggests the negative impact of unaddressed concerns can be catastrophic so it can not be allowed to persist. It can be stopped by transparent communication, clarifying agreements and being vigilant about adhering to them:
Agreement 1: We encourage open communication and promote an environment of solution finding
Agreement 2: It is healthy to have concerns AND we need you to commit to support the direction we have set even if you disagree
Agreement 3: if you have concerns talk to the appropriate person who can answer questions and help take action. If they do not resolve - escalate appropriately - don't just complain to your peers
Agreement 4 when we hear appropriate concerns - we listen to the concerns then reframe them as commitments to make the organization successful and take action. An example - an employee is concerned that the volume of change is creating a fearful environment. The reframe is the employee is committed to creating a safe environment where everyone can succeed. With this as the commitment it is easy to move to small steps to address the concern.
Change can be really tough for people and when fears drive the conversation they can quickly undermine important changes. Managers need to get ahead of the issues, creating a culture of openness. Then need to manage and lead the change. Part of the role is setting a vision of the future and the other part is putting concrete processes and agreements in place that allow people to move through the transition at the appropriate pace.
I wish you great success with the change and the difficult stakeholders.
Is this answer helpful? Schedule a free consultation with Maureen.
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