I’ve learned there are some common – often hidden – objections to change. These are secret objections.

No one admits to these, but they are real. In fact, they may be the biggest obstacles you’ll have to face in implementing change.

Show me an objection to change and you’re almost guaranteed to find one of these hidden in the crowd somewhere. And you’ll probably find multiples of them.

These are often hard to admit, but they are true. Understanding them can help you better lead change.

5 hidden objections to change:

Selfishness

Let’s face it – we want what we want. What’s comfortable requires less sacrifice on our part.

Pride

We like our ideas and don’t believe we can enjoy the ideas of others, as much as our own. The way I want to do things is best, isn’t it?

Fear

We are afraid of what could happen if we change. Change might launch a whole series of change. That’s scary.

Power

We want to make the decisions for our life and resist when others are making them for us. The reality is most of us have a very real and sometimes hidden desire for control.

Satisfaction

We are satisfied with current status. Things are being done the way they’ve always been done. This is the way things are supposed to be. And we like it this way.

To be clear, I don’t believe we can continue to grow most of the time without change. Change is all around us. Therefore, failing to embrace change only leads to more severe problems later. But that doesn’t mean change is easy.

Sometimes understanding the hidden reasons behind the objection helps the leader better address the situation.

What hidden objections to change have you seen?

Check out my new leadership podcast on the Lifeway Podcast Network or wherever you listen to podcasts. In an upcoming episode, we will address these hidden objections and ways to address them.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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  • Jim Pemberton says:

    Additionally, these are broad categories. These broad categories and lead us to think of sub-categories to investigate as well. For example, I have seen in many churches that are suffering severe decline a recognition that the status of decline needs to change, but a steadfast resistance to the kind of changes that the church needs to make. People were comfortable for many years doing things a certain way and experiencing a church that was well-attended by many members. Now they think that the way they’ve always done it should result in the same status in the community that they used to have.

    So here we have two categories of satisfaction: 1. Satisfaction in the old forms, versus 2. Dissatisfaction with the decline of community in the church.

    So much else could be said about this example, but understanding the subcategories also helps to address it.

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