Change – Do We Really Hate It?On April 7, 2017 by abah guru
What is it about change that makes experts say we hate it? I do not believe we hate change at all; What we do not like is when it spirals beyond our control. So it is not change we hate, it's the lack of control.
Going far back in history, consider the Pharaoh Akenaten. He decreed that the polytheistic Egyptian religion would have been replaced by worshiping one god, the Aten. He liked it, but not too many others did. Akenaten fled the tradition capital, setting up an entire new city. The entire religious class had no jobs; He set up new practices and rites. When he died, a huge effort was made to remove all memory of him. He imposed the change on his people; No choice, just a decision which completely turned religious belief on its head. It did not last.
The top ten changes which cause the greatest stress are those over which we have little or no control. They include death of a loved one, imprisonment of a loved one, marriage, divorce, birth of a new child. The first two we really have no control over. The last three are events we set in motion and may anticipate the output, but they have a tendency to unfold as they will – not go to our plans.
So, we want change – but we want control over it. I bought a new lap top last month which is nowhere near the revolutionary change Akenaten wrought. I wanted a new lap top. I looked at a few before deciding on it. I bought it home, started it up and began to get really frustrated that it took two hours to customize it. I had not anticipated how long it would take; I thought I could just start up my computer and it would work. Ok, I knew that I would have to set up my email, but I had no idea how long all the other stuff would take. So, I sat keeping my frustration under control by watching a favorite TV show while the computer was setting up.
When you want to bring change, remember that it will be stressful. You can try to be Akenaten – you may well be able to force people to do things a new way, but as soon as you are not there, you will find the old ways being used.
Or, you can do what I did. Decide what the benefits are, choose the course of action you want – and realize it will be stressful and make provision for that. When I bought it change at work, I spent a lot of time talking to my staff. I sold the benefits to them to begin with. Once they had bought into the long term vision, I then made sure everyone knew there would be problems along the way, but ensured they believed – as I really did – that we could find a way to solve them. And we always did. I allowed people to air their frustration and shared mine with them, so we really felt like a team. Then we could move forward together, making the changes we needed to, and sharing the credit for a job well done.