Change psychology in practice

Defense, anxiety and emotion in the change process

Often there are a lot of emotions and concerns at stake when a department or a whole business is going to change the way it works. There may be expectant joy, enthusiasm and impatience, but also anxiety, pressure on expectations, insufficiency, jealousy, guilt, sorrow, etc. It is quite normal and human, for example, to be nervous if you are going to assume a new role that you haven't gotten to know yet. It can be hard to overview. Rationally, you have done well before, but in this new role, what will former colleagues say about it? This may cause insecurity.

It is no wonder that emotions are often not taken care of in the improvement work. Tools within Lean and other methods are rational methods that appeal to the rational side of us people and the type we are trained to relate to in the training system. However, we are not trained to relate to the more irrational sides of people and it is no wonder we overlook the role that emotions play when change is to be carried out.

The list of concerns

One of the methods is to set up a list of concerns or a board where everyone involved gets the opportunity to list the concerns that could now be at stake. Experience shows that it can be difficult for staff and leaders to get their workers to open up and put the concerns into words, but that usually requires only a little time and patience before the loop is closed. For example, the list of concerns can be brought up on the agenda for two or three meetings or workshops. This allows for a gradual habituation.

History, Language and Culture

By focusing on storytelling and cultural development, instead of achieving a specific, concrete goal, there is a greater chance of achieving the desired long-term goal. The latest research from several Danish universities shows how many organizations forget the importance of language for maintaining or spoiling change projects. At BTP, we offer counseling, courses and coaching in change psychology, storytelling and cultural development - which helps your organization discover and understand the stories and change mechanisms that occur in your organization. We provide tools for working with language and culture, as a strong factor in each change process.

The result is a gentler process

The consequence is that the change process will usually take a little longer in the initial phase. But it's an investment that pays off many times in the longer term, because it's about nipping the obstacles in the bud before they grow big and incalculable. Ultimately, the effect will be a faster change and a more lasting improvement.

Find more inspiration about this subject in our knowledge center and book a start-up meeting on this matter with one of our consultants.

"Stop wasting your time and effort. Use your energy so that it works for you."

Business Through People

Contact John

Get further information on Change Psychology in Practice

John Vellema

BTP References

"We are a small group of involved people and we are all very committed. The list of concerns was quickly halved and we constantly monitor it. The list has helped to quickly create confidence in the improvement work and the future we're entering."

Eva Lundberg, Continuous Improvement Manager, Amcor.