Brighton Leadership Group

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Don’t Focus on the Pain of Change

Leaders who have been coached to deliver change messages warning of dire consequences risk creating a culture of fear and compliance with the change. To gain commitment there is a new way of leading change, “the grass is greener.”

Cropped Grass DeckI was schooled in the premise that in order for people to change they needed to feel the pain of the current state in order to be willing to move to the future state. In change projects we would tell leaders that “since the change targets won’t change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, your job is to inflict some pain!”

While I do believe that leaders should be honest with their followers about the current state, I have been reading research that shows a focus on the pain of change does not lead to long term change. People do respond to messages of pain. However, they usually comply with the change and default back to previous behavior when the pain subsides.

Rather than inflict pain on change targets, there is a better way. Lead lasting change by focusing on benefits. When people are internally motivated to change due to benefits (often referred to at the WIIFM – what’s in it for me) they become committed to the change.
So focus on explaining why the “grass is greener” to those who need to change and achieve commitment rather than compliance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Articles

change succeed

4 Tips to Succeed When Leading at the Pace of Change

Would you say the pace of change has increased, decreased or remained the same? Your perception matters and it impacts every facet of your leadership. …

Read More →
strategies of successful leaders

Strategies of Successful Leaders

Over the last few weeks we recorded a series of videos addressing leadership challenges identified by members of the group Scott mentors from the Executive’s …

Read More →
lead with purpose

3 Ways to Lead With Purpose

We are celebrating Freedom week in honor of the Rebel Leader Community launch. You are free to lead with purpose is the theme of today’s …

Read More →
A curious leader

The Case for Curious Leadership

Nothing new comes from the status quo. There is no new awareness, no problem solving, no value creation, no innovation and no adaptability without asking …

Read More →
Scroll to Top

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.