People who don’t change can gum up our organizations and their careers. We try requesting, coaching, pleading, pushing, “carrotting and/or sticking,” or even jumping up and down. Yet people often remain stubbornly stuck.
We may explain their stuckedness as some character flaw. But they really stay stuck out of fear (or fudwar). And they are unable to navigate that fear. When this is true, all those things we have done to move them only trigger more and more defensive resistance.
Take heart, though; we can shift things. We start by quickly acknowledging (to ourselves only) that they have some fear and by recognizing how we have (had) similar fears, too.
Next we allow ourselves to be compassionate, setting aside any concerns that compassion leads to passivity or permissiveness (it doesn’t). We are quietly saying, “I get it and I know–perhaps better than you right now–that you have everything you need within you to move forward.” Then we redouble our work to foster a successful environment for everyone with compelling goals, effective systems, and clear thinking that feels good–all in service of win-win.
Being this sort of leader builds the required trust, unlocks fear, and helps people step out of stuck.
In your corner,