In Part 1 of this article, I examined the human physiological reasons for resistance to change and fear of change. In this article, I will focus on the techniques from Brain-Based Conversation that can be used by Change Practitioners to facilitate communication with individuals and teams and to overcome resistance to or fear of change. When used effectively, these techniques can help address hearts and minds during change or change leadership.
1. Dance of Insight: The Dance of Insight (Fig. 1) technique is used to build trust. A change practitioner lays the groundwork for trust, respect, and credibility with individuals impacted by the change. If trust and rapport have not been built at the beginning, any change conversation will be resisted, subverted or worse ignored entirely. This framework creates SCARF rewards and a toward the state. This technique/tool helps an employee who is impacted by change forward from impasse to insight to action to new ways of behaving. When you use the Dance of Insight effectively, you will find the conversation happens in a space between two or more individuals and not in their heads.
2. The REVIEW Model: This model provides individuals who are being impacted by change accountability and support, which help them to stretch to complete challenging actions, and to repeat new, useful behaviors. The REVIEW Model (Fig.2) helps us to do this by following up on actions that have been set by the Change Practitioner. It is ideal for follow-up conversations and ongoing discussions about the change or an initiative.
3. CREATE Model. This model gets implemented over many minutes of dialogue between the change practitioners and the impacted individuals. The journey begins from awareness of current reality to exploring alternatives for reaching the desired outcome, to deciding on a resolution or a way forward. The CREATE model helps to develop momentum and set actions to move forward.
Prominent CEOs in 2020 promised not to lay off workers during the fiscal year. This included TD Bank’s CEO Bharat Masrani, Citigroup’s CEO Mike Corbat, Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Chairman, and CEO of Visa, Alfred Kelly Jr.
If we look at these announcements, from a SCARF Model perspective, it acknowledged, “Our Status as employees”, gave employees “Certainty” during times of uncertainty, gave a sense of control and preserved employee sense of “Autonomy”, assured a sense of “Relatedness” and finally a sense of “Fairness“.
Communication from the CEO’s also helped employees to move from panic (Limbic brain) to a sense of certainty and bring about some calmness/a degree of assurance (Rational Brain) so that employees could engage in day-to-day responsibilities in a rational manner both in professional and personal lives as it created a sense of certainty during uncertain times.
The uncertainty makes our brain yield control to the limbic system. Trust and distrust reside in different areas of the brain. Each results in a different mix of chemical and electrical activity.
Triggering one can shut access to the other. By engaging in such conversation/ using tools like Dance of Insight, REVIEW Model, and CREATE Model helps in engaging the rational brain.
Neuroscience is at the heart of our work as “Change Practitioners” It is at the heart of how people
think/ feel and act.
Vijay G. Chander is a Senior Change Management Specialist working for TD Bank with Innovation, Technology and Shared Services team in Canada and Certified Change Consultant on Enterprise Agility (Enterprise Agility University)