The Person in the Mirror

“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a…”

Change! But, change is hard. I’ve been doing some coaching and mentoring for two up and coming adjunct faculty members and both of them are fully vested in The Mandt System, however, they are bringing it back to their organizations as a new concept. Those types of things don’t always go smoothly.

I’ve been trying to help them understand that the resistance they may face is completely understandable. If we take it back to Maslow’s Hierarchy, change represents the unknown and the unknown does not feel safe. When people do not feel safe or cannot predict what will happen it may have an impact on the way that they use their own behavior. This is true even when people logically know that what they are experiencing is not good. Case in point, the quote that we use from Virginia Satir about how people prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty. We often draw a parallel from that quote to situations of domestic violence that so many people live with.

Change represents uncertainty. And that whole concept of change means that we cannot be certain what the outcome of that change will be. Thus, even when we know cognitively that the change which The Mandt System represents will be good and positive change, from an emotional basis we will be faced with some staff (especially long time employees) who are naturally resistant to that change. For them, what they have known (no matter how ineffective or dangerous it has been) is familiar and as such feels safer.

It can be frustrating, for sure. As Instructors we want to help the people that we are training to acknowledge their emotions (or feelings) and affirm their own behavior. I’ve even had success being the first to bring up apprehension that my staff might have been experiencing – “listen, I know this sounds like it will never work…” or “I’m sure you are feeling just as skeptical as I used to feel…” How our employees are feeling is valid, so let’s validate those feelings and invite their cooperation with the upcoming change.

“I’m starting with the woman in the mirror, I’m asking her to change her ways.”

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor

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