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Initial Concerns

 

Disciplines > Change Management > The psychology of change > Initial Concerns

Needs | Values | Goals | See also

 

When change is first announced, what happens in people's heads? If you can see something of what they are thinking, then you are on the road to being able to address their early concerns.

Needs

The principles in Maslow's Hierarchy explains much. When something happens and we feel we might be threatened (which starts as anticipated threat), we revert to checking lower-level needs. Thus we ask questions such as:

  • Safety: Will I still have a job? How does it affect my pension?
  • Belonging: Will I have to move? Will my team survive?
  • Esteem: Will my social status change? Will I have less influence?
  • Identity: What does this mean about who I really am?
  • Prediction: What will happen now? Can I see a new future?

Values

Our esteem needs leads us to seek rationality in our explanations, which can lead to highly uncomfortable situations for those implementing the change, and they can easily revert to stress values, for example in objectification of the people affected.

Those of us who are affected by the change will tend to be highly evaluative of the people who are implementing the change and the actions they take. We assess the Values of the people and whether their actions are moral or ethical (using our own standards, of course). In particular, even if we do not agree with the outcomes, it is very important for us to perceive the process as fair.

Goals

Even if we safely get past considerations of needs and values, we will also consider the impact of the change on our personal and organizational goals.

  • How will it affect my current work? Can I finish it off? Should I?
  • How will it affect my future prospects?
  • How will it affect my value to the company?
  • Should I look for another job?

See also

Needs, Values, Goals

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