One of the reasons change is so difficult is the F.U.D. Factor. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt accompany virtually every change. The sooner that the F.U.D. Factor is addressed, the sooner and more successfully people can move through their personal change journey.
Here are a few tips to overcome the F.U.D. Factor:
- Involve People – remember the definition of fear? It’s False Expectations Appearing Real. In the absence of real information, people make things up. To avoid false realities involve people in change conversations. Don’t wait until everything is perfectly figured out to begin involving or communicating. Change goes better together.
- Taste the Change – whenever possible, provide an experience of the future, changed state. For example, one client who was changing the configuration of their work environment setup a sample of the new workstations, the white noise machines and the bright colors of the future location. Employees were able to experience the new look and feel of their work space.
- Acknowledge F.U.D. – pretending that fear, uncertainty and doubt don’t exist creates further anxiety. While reframing the change in a positive way is great, it’s unrealistic to assume that fear, uncertainty and doubt don’t exist. Talk with people, accept where they are and realize that change is a process.
When leading through change, F.U.D. is part of the process. Involve people early and often through communication and solution definition sessions. Whenever possible, provide an experience of the change and finally acknowledge that F.U.D. exists to help people process through it. Overcoming the F.U.D. Factor is a crucial skill of leading change.