#17 Part 2 – Why Change is hard?

Deepa Natarajan




This is the second of this three-part series on why change is hard. I talk about three more reasons why change is hard. Providing meaningful ways to overcome these challenges and with examples I came across with my coaching clients.

The 4th reason why change is hard:

Change management bodies fail to engage in a deeper dialogue

Management has a very clear vision. They have the right analytical data in front of them, they see the capabilities, they see the future and make decisions based on these. This might be the same kind of change that the people want, but when it’s comes forced top-down, there is a resistance. This happens because the people are not treated like adults; their opinions are not sought after, and they are not engaged in a dialogue.

Imagine yourself with your fist closed and having all your ideas within it. Very often in conversation, we hold onto our ideas and opinions with our fists closed. We are afraid to open our palm to allow new ideas or opinions to come in in fear of not going in the direction that one would like to go. It holds us back from having richer, deeper conversations.


  • Question the mental model that you’re coming from.
  • Be curious about opinions and judgements of other people.
  • Remember that the dialogue is always an infinite loop between the self and the other.

The 5th reason why change is hard:

We don’t seek feedback

As we saw in Part 1, adaptive processes are a necessary part of your change timeline. Mindsets need to shift in order for a technical change to happen. For a person’s mind to shift, we often come with a strong conviction that we know exactly what we need to change. People can see us with more precision than we ever knew. If you can get feedback, harvest it, and build trust, you can shift pretty fast.

Use feedback mechanisms like The Leadership Culture surveys or an ASK questionnaire. In the ASK questionnaire, you can have 3 simple questions:

  1. What do you think is my greatest single challenge to achieve this goal? (Where “this” is the goal that you want to achieve.)
  2. What is the one behaviour that you think I need to change?
  3. If there’s one area that you’d think I should focus on, what would that be?

Fill this questionnaire by getting feedback from at least ten people. This will be much more precise than you deciding for yourself the one thing that you need to change.

The 6th reason why change is hard:

We reject the feedback that we receive

I often hears statements like “you don’t understand me,” “I used to be that way, but that’s not me anymore,” or “these respondents don’t like me, and that’s why they responded in this way.”

“If only we can think of feedback as a gift. As a gift that is going to enhance our leadership ability; as a gift that is going to grow us; and as a gift that is going to help us to achieve and be more peaceful, we can grow faster than we imagine.”


Make effective change with Rethink Leadership Methodology

Samskara Dec 2021 Issue #08

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