The Process of Change – Complexities of Attitudinal Change – Axiology [Part 4/4]

[Part of the 4 part series on The Process of Change. See the others]:

The Complexities of Attitudinal Change

Everyone behaves in a way that makes sense to them. Everyone rationalizes his or her behavior.

Axiology – the understanding of values. If a person does not value a change they are not going to go along with it. The opposite is true as well. If he or she feels that you are attacking something he or she values, they are going to react negatively.

Ok, so that sounds tough. You’re right. It is tough. The human side of software development is understanding people. People are driven differently, people are incentivized differently.

Facilitating attitudinal change:

1. Understand that we change people through interpersonal communication:

  • Not by arguing at or with them
  • Not by talking them down
  • Not by telling them or implying that they are less intelligent then others
  • Not by talking talking talking. Listen listen listen
  • Not by assuming. Ask questions

People tend to change, or be more open to change, when they can exchange ideas with other people.

2. Understand that people change by basis of information:

  • Help people to understand the necessity – Let’s have a conversation around why this is necessary… or is it?
  • Help people understand the value or benefits – Let’s have a conversation around the value… or eventual value of the change.
  • Help people understand the feasibility of the change(s) – Let’s have a conversation around how the change is possible. Yes, we can do it.

Wrap up:

Creating change in your organization is tough. Period. It will take patience, facilitation, and maybe even a bit of pressure in the right places… and on the right people. Change implementation takes strategy, hard work, and thoughtful consideration of your system (environment+people). Handling resistance to change is tough, tap into your humanity. You’ll need it, and good luck.

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