Time for a Change

While organizations may invoke change management for all and expect compliance, compliance and commitment come from two different sets of values, behaviors, and thought processes.

For example, telling someone to lose weight and suggesting that they merely stop eating is hoping to create a habit out of compliance.  Not only will it likely not work, but it would also be a very short-term experiment requiring a particularly strong sense of willpower. Another possibility is that the person will resent being told what to do and resistant to “simply” give up food because the boss said so.

However, if a work culture supports weight loss as part of a series of wellbeing offerings through apps, daily walks, or providing different foods onsite or grocery gift cards, employees may feel that they are making progress together.   With others considering such changes and observing how an organization supports the endeavor, a group can develop commitment to a shared purpose.

A value is only a value when it is personally chosen and aligns with one’s sense of identity.  You cannot direct people to think or behave in your way (or the highway).  It happens in office environments; however, fear is a short-term motivator and unsustainable for the recipient.

One value that works for others is empathy.  Why? Because it is based on what is best for the other person.  We provide listening without judgment to hear why their concerns are important to them.  We are not asking them to change because we said so.  We are asking open-ended questions to provide a forum for both awareness and greater understanding.

Whatever actions we choose to take, we have given the other person a chance to use their voice in a psychologically safe environment.  There is no punishment, shame, or embarrassment for disagreement. It is a dialogue.  It is a conversation of authenticity, not incivility or a bully pulpit.

If it is a healthy one, it will allow for compromise and consideration of diverse opinions to achieve a change that suggests accommodation of multiple points of view. By expanding the amount of information presented and gaining clarity, we can make a more-informed decision. 

One form of change is compliance, and one is built from commitment.  Which change would you want to be a part of?