#1 Change Management Secret; Overcoming Lack of Belief

“When obstacles arise, change your direction to reach your goal, not the decision to get there.” – Zig Ziglar

The biggest obstacle or constraint that I’ve seen in most organization is tied to the belief that things can’t really change. I find that the longer people have been in organizations, the harder it is to get them onboard for the changes required to succeed. And why should that be surprising?

After all, they’re the ones that have most been let down, over and over again.

And this is where it all starts.. sizing up who is going to support you.. just as much as those who is going to resist you when you want to change “the way it’s always been”.

As a reward, when that first domino tumbles.. and someone previously unresponsive is receptive to change.. the moment that they open their arms & embrace the crazy possibility that this time things will be different.. that’s when the hair on the back of your neck tingles! That’s when you know you’ve penetrated an (up until than) impenetrable obstacle. And you’d better move fast, leveraging that situation before the door of an open opportunity shuts close in your face again.

Limiting Beliefs & Effective Strategies

Last week I stood in front of 60 people & explained that the only thing holding people back from achievable success is either a limiting belief or the lack of an effective strategy.

Indeed I have found that lacking effective strategies are the easiest obstacles to overcome.. whilst limiting beliefs, due to their very nature, are the most difficult challenge to overcome. If it’s true that we are a product of our thoughts & subsequent actions, then it’s also true that those actions are triggered by our beliefs.

Each person is an individual, with unique experiences. Those in turn have them react to the world in very unique & particular manners. When you’re addressing any change that needs to be implemented, get a firm understanding of what’s been done before.. what has failed & why. Present your logical arguments as to why things will be different this time, and then find a method of common understanding in order to transmit your ideas in a manner that get’s your point effectively across the chasm of resistance.

If at first you don’t succeed..

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. In Zig Ziglars own words, “When obstacles arise, change your direction to reach your goal, not the decision to get there.”

The last time I applied this, the conversation I was having felt like an endless obstacle course. I kept hitting dead-end obstacles of resistance rooted on previous failures of the organization. At first, my natural instinct was to raise my voice and take a more accretive stance, but rather than giving into my own frustration, or trying to force my opinion.. I caught myself and experimented various methods of dialogue, even drawing visual representations, and finally it was by listening to someone else in the room that I was able to latch onto the key that would unlock that barrier of belief.


Coming out of that meeting felt amazing! A major obstacle had been overcome and now it was time to put together the remaining pieces of the puzzle that would eventually lead to the necessary change resulting in substantial success. Like a stack of dominos, once you’ve gotten the buy-in from your most significant point of resistance, you’ll often find that the rest is a matter of follow-through. From that point onward all you need to do is provide results that vindicate the need for change. The quick wins will inspire others to fall into line & support the change process.

A personal challenge

Where does this episode resonate with you? How are you, or someone within your organization, resisting a required change simply because you don’t believe? What will be different this time around?

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