When Leading a Change Effort, Get Reluctant Employees On Board First


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Change is hard. Most people have an inherent bias toward maintaining the status quo.

o If you’re leading a change effort, identify the employees most likely to undermine it, and help them get on board first.

o Plan two face-to-face conversations with each reluctant employee. Your goal in the first conversation is to listen and understand why your colleague is holding out.

o Your goal in the second is to show you have reflected on their input and to explain how and why your approach to organizational change will (or won’t) be different as a result.

o Have these conversations two to seven days apart, so your employee feels you’ve given their ideas thoughtful consideration. And give each talk enough time — your discussion should be unhurried and allow you to focus on the person who’s resisting the change.

Adapted from “Overcome Resistance to Change with Two Conversations,” by Sally Blount and Shana Carroll

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