Decoding the concerns underlying resistance to change

Par Brio Conseils

Article drawn from the special report Les cadres face au changement (Managers facing change), published in Revue Gestion, Winter 2010

Working life is full of changes that middle managers are frequently called upon to integrate into their daily routine of their units. To optimize the chances of success of these organizational transformations, middle managers must learn to decode the concerns that lead employees to resist change. Diagnosing these concerns is the key to maintaining an open and productive dialogue with their employees, immediate supervisor, coworkers and other stakeholders, and to taking the appropriate steps to address their concerns. Learning to decode the concerns of end-users is a key competency for all managers in order to facilitate the appropriation of change. This article attempts to help managers take advantage of resistance by using the stages of concern model. Some of the difficulties associated with taking into account the concerns and resistance of actors are also addressed and, finally, advice and conditions of success are presented.

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