Are You Uncomfortable?


People change when the pain of changing is LESS than the pain of keeping the status quo. The fact is everyone is changing all the time. But many of us like to settle in and get comfortable. We find our place, our niche our warm and fuzzy place and we don’t want to be moved.

In my prior occupation as a church minister, we sang a hymn that said, “I shall not be moved.” That was truer about attitudes and complacency than it was anything religious. I don’t know anyone who likes change except a wet baby… and some of them hate the process.

We fight change. We deny it. We want everyone ELSE to change; not us. Sometimes it is inevitable… it HAS to happen, but we still want to keep everything the way it is. We like to stay in our comfort zone.

People will change every time when it hurts more to NOT change... When the comfort is better in the new position than the present one we are ready to change.

For instance: My daughter was one of the last children to learn to ride a bicycle. She clung to her scooter for months. But as her friends flew by each day on their bikes, she wanted to keep up with them. One day in late November she said, “Dad, I want a bicycle for Christmas this year.”

The “pain” and discomfort of not being one of the “in” crowd.

Coca-Cola changed the formula of their most popular soft drink in the 1980’s. The public was outraged. They overwhelmingly demanded that the company switch the formula back to the traditional mix. Coke refused at first, but when sales began to plummet, they changed their plans and reinstated the original formula, introduced as “Classic Coke” (Now just known as Coke).

The Coca-Cola executives became so uncomfortable with the decision they made and the public outcry they chose to change.

The best way to introduce change is to find the discomfort and allow it to surface. In a transition with an organization several years ago, I sought out opinions one-on-one about the status quo.

  • “What do you like about our practices?” I asked. Then I listened.
  • “What do you NOT like about our practices?” I followed with. Then I took notes.
  • “What do you think we should change?” was the next question. Then I took more notes.
  • “Where would you be willing to help out (Commit) in making that happen?” Then I enlisted them to join me.

    As a result of seeking out the pain and discomfort, our transition went much, much smoother. After a while almost everyone was in step with the new practices. Buy-in was initiated and a fight (several in fact) was averted.

    Where is the discomfort among your staff, members, customers or team? How can you diagnose the pain and discomfort? Who should you talk with? Where should you start today?

There is No "Secret" to Life!
Alter the Custom and Own the Custom

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