The People Of Change

Yesterday I said that change is inevitable - it's going to happen.

So how do you deal with the people of change?

The first question you have to ask is, "Do you want to deal with them in a healthy way or not?"

Fight them - Now I have to say here, in all honesty, sometimes you need to fight people who are trying to implement changes. I'll address why you might want to do that tomorrow, but for now I admit that all change (or proposed change) isn't good. For example, giving condoms to elementary children isn't good. Legalizing marijuana
isn't good. I think you get the idea.

But when you decide to fight, something is going to happen that isn't avoidable. The Us vs. Them mentality. There are going to be at least two camps (probably more) who will entrench themselves for a battle. Who will win? That's easy - the one who has the highest threshold of pain. When the price of change or the fight becomes too painful - and ones threshold of pain is reached - someone will wave the white flag.

Does this mean that the right people won? No. Does this mean that the right changes are going to take place? No. All it means is that someone won and someone lost. The loser usually isolates themselves from the winners and the war is over - for now.

Ignore them - This causes more problems than it solves. All you have done here is tell people that they are irrelevant and they are of no worth to you. You have fueled the fire in their soul for change and devalued your ability to do something positive. Refer to "Fighting Them" and determine who has the higher threshold of pain now?

Make it someone elses problem - Now we have moved into the blame game. Pointing fingers and saying, "Well if they . . . " Turning people into the public enemy while bolstering others to your side of the issues only leads to "Fighting Them" again. The difference here is - the battle will be public, it will be ugly, there will be causalities and it will end badly for everyone.

Appease them - This may be a good or bad thing, it all depends on why you are doing it. If you make concessions in good faith, for the purpose of making good progress and to work together with others - this is a good idea. If you are only giving them lip service while you work in the background to bolster your position and gain strength for your upcoming battle - you will insult and enrage people. You baited and switched.

Applaud them - Again, this could be good or bad. If you are being honest about them and complimenting them for their efforts to bring positive change - then you have probably won a friend. But if you are not being honest about it and you are telling others behind their back what you really think - you will get burned.

Embrace them - I know, you don't want to do it. There is something inside of you that says, "They are the enemy! Don't let your guard down." But quite frankly, if change is going to happen and people are going to demand or bring change - you better think this through carefully. Swallowing your pride and offering an olive branch can start things in the right direction. That doesn't guarantee that they will respond in the right way or do the right things? No. But if you are going to lead change - then lead from the right place. Acknowledge your weaknesses and strengths. Express your opinions with respect. Find some common ground that will help you proceed in the right direction.

Tomorrow - Guiding Change.


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