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Strategies Of Negotiation For Change Management – Defeating Fear Of Loss

Strategies of Negotiation for Change Management – Defeating Fear of Loss

As we continue on with our sub-series, Strategies of Negotiation in Change Management, we continue to look at how we can best prepare for, and deal with resistance. As a major stumbling block in any change project, resistance can have severe repercussions for a Change Project if it is not identified and addressed. 

By unpacking the emotions of the people experiencing the change, we’ve directly put ourselves in their shoes as the change enablers. What this does is allow us to view the change from the ‘other’ perspective, considering any reactions, emotions and reasons for resistance. 

This week we look at ‘the fear of loss’ as one of the primary negative emotions in fueling resistance and a primary derailer in negotiation. Reading up on some basic neuroscience research, we learn that fear is a dominant factor in decision-making. Using this insight, we need to use our time in conversation around resistance to unpack what the other party is afraid of losing and why this is important to them to evoke such a strong emotional reaction.

Going into any discussions around resistance, and reaching an amicable resolution which is mutually beneficial for all involved will come down to what is, and is not deemed fair. People will naturally walk away or close themselves off to furthering any discussions that they perceive as being unfair towards them. If discussions do head in this direction, encourage the other party to speak about their concerns and to provide you with examples. In unpacking these views, you may discover that there may have been misunderstandings or misinterpretations of some communication around the change project which has caused them to act out and resist.

In working to bring everyone on board the change journey, it is important to do whatever you can to limit resistance and deactivate this fear of loss. Putting our labelling and mirroring techniques into practice during these conversations will give you a clearer understanding of the root cause of the reluctance to change.

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