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Change is not Death. Fear of Change is Death.

Every idea or thought you put out there demands a change. So if you’re a high performer at your job, you may be scaring an awful lot of people.

People naturally fear change. Because it threatens their existing status. It demands new skills which leaves them feeling uncertain. Change might imply a new corporate structure, which leaves them feeling uncertain and may have an impact their ability to make autonomous decisions. It may mean that new employees arrive while familiar faces depart, affecting their relatedness. And change is almost always perceived as being unfair to some and privileging others.

Dr. David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work and Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute developed this graphic illustrating how the human brain is conditioned to respond to threats.

You can see that with so many triggers so close at hand, it’s easy to elicit an “away response” and cause your audience to flee from your ideas. When introducing new ideas its possible to consciously reduce this response by playing down these triggers.

But its also possible to induce a “toward response” by assuring your audience that status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness will be honored. You can see by the relative size of the arrows in the graphic above that its much easier to inadvertently create an “away response” and you have to work almost three times as hard to generate a “toward response”. But now you have a tool.

If you chose this card, it suggests that you know that, as change agents, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

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Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron is one of Canada's most successful playwrights and one of Calgary's most imaginative corporate trainers and faciliators. Ken uses his creative background to design sessions that draw aout even the most introverted participants.

As a coach and corporate trainer Ken has worked with and lead workshops for many senior business leaders and dynamic organizations.