Resistance to Change

Some good advice from Pride Institute:

When contemplating any change, even a “good” change, most individuals weigh the benefits of the proposed change against the potential risks.  Even seemingly small changes, such as changing the wall color in the reception area have been known to paralyze some dentists.  Informing your team that you have decided to install computers in the treatment rooms may provoke considerable resistance for the following reasons:

  • 1. People tend to be more resistant to a change that is imposed or initiated by others because it makes them feel powerless.
    2. The computers will require team members to develop new skills. Because the learning curve can be fairly steep for team members who are not familiar or comfortable with computers, there will be a period of time when the employee may feel incompetent.
    3. Computers in the treatment rooms will require team members to give up familiar ways of doing tasks. For example, entering treatment notes onto a computer will involve a whole new set of competencies than scribbling onto a familiar clinical form.
    4. Individuals may fear losing their jobs if they cannot adapt to the new competencies required of them.

In general, people resist changes they perceive threaten them in some way.  The key is to give your team some sense of control about the situation and to assure them that the benefits will outweigh the risks.

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