Understanding how to minimize resistance to change can be very beneficial to many. Often we see managers get into a fire fighting mode once his or her superior asks to implement organizational changes that will have an impact on the human resources. They struggle and go on a "nice guy" journey! Strangely enough, they don't even think on how to minimize resistance to change, they only focus on ensuring that the changes actually get implemented!
At the first sign of resistance they will revert to their learned behaviour and will re-act by pushing harder....It's a normal human reaction, or at least one that we face in the material world all the time. I am sure that we all at one time in our life tried to fix something and faced some material resistance! What was your natural response to that resistance? I am sure that you simply applied more force to it. Most of the time you actually eliminated the resistance which resulted in your achieving the objective while other times, you either gave up or applied so much force that the material resistance actually gave away, but you made the situation worst because the piece broke! This reinforcement, at a variable interval explains why it's difficult to reverse this learned response. Understanding how to minimize resistance to change is in large, learning to control our well-rehearsed response.
In the world of Human Resources, this learned response can have some major repercussions such as not having the required support for achieving your objectives and therefore limiting your career advancement and your organization profits. Simply pushing harder is not the answer. If you've tried this method in the past and it worked, well, just note that the next time you will need to push harder and eventually it will break! From my perspective it's not a question of if, but when. Did you already loose one of your best employees? Why did he leave? After all people are going to implement the change, so why not concentrate your efforts on them!
From my experience and belief, the most important way to comprehend how to minimize resistance to change is to understand that the support needed should not start "during times of impactful organizational change", but should have already be in place pre-organizational changes! Trust is the answer! By nature, human will always resist further, changes that are being perceived negatively as oppose to the ones that are being positively perceived. Thus, you need to be connected with your staff and develop an authentic professional relationship and learn how to set your leadership vision, setting your leadership vision and will by extension minimize the resistance to change on your projects.
As we resist more the way changes are implemented as oppose to the change itself, it is normal to deem certain leadership styles to be part of how to minimize resistance to change. I'll let you guess which one it is!
Leaders are constantly seeking to exchange their knowledge, because that's how we increase our leadership skills.