Change Insights for the Unwavering Leader featured image

Change Insights for the Unwavering Leader

By: DaSjaun Rose

~ 4 minute read

Ever felt a twinge of nostalgia when changing your computer’s background, only to miss the old one? This seemingly trivial act of change can stir a whirlpool of emotional resistance. 

Amplify that feeling across an organization facing significant transformation, and you’re navigating through a sea of skepticism. Here’s the reality: change management is an inevitable part of organizational growth, but how we lead through it, especially amidst skepticism, can make a monumental difference in the success of our change initiatives.

Change Skeptics: Understanding Those Who May Resist the Change

Every eye-roll or skeptical glance at the mention of new change management strategies is a blend of fear, uncertainty, and a surprisingly deep commitment to the organization’s future.  But skeptics aren’t your foes; they are potential allies in the change process, offering a unique perspective that can enhance your change management efforts. These individuals often display traits of patience and formality, making them thoughtful and thorough in their approach to change. 

Their skepticism is not a hurdle but a testament to their engagement and care for the organization’s future, acting as a built-in quality assurance for your change management strategies. Even when their feedback feels adversarial, leaders can use effective conflict management techniques to help their change skeptics move through to adoption of the change.

Change Evangelists: A Double-Edged Sword

We’ve all met those individuals in our organizations who are fervent believers in the change process. Change Evangelists are often the first to embrace new strategies and advocate for them across the organization. Their enthusiasm can be infectious, serving as a catalyst for momentum and engagement among their peers. 

However, this archetype comes with its own set of challenges. The zeal of change evangelists can sometimes blind them to valid concerns and resistance from others, leading to potential alienation or friction within teams. Their unwavering belief in the change initiative may also result in overlooking practical hurdles or the need for adaptation, underscoring the importance of balancing their enthusiasm with a healthy dose of realism and empathy for the perspectives of all team members. 

Thus, while change evangelists are invaluable for driving change forward, their impact is maximized when they’re guided to acknowledge and address the broader organizational context and the diverse responses to change within it.


The Leader’s Toolkit: Change Management Strategies for Engaging The Entire Team

  1. Connect Before You Correct
  2. Understand to Be Understood
  3. Use Positive Language and Cast A Change Vision
  4. Embrace the OODA Loop
  5. Leading by Example: The Use Case of One


1. Connect Before You Correct

In change management, building trust and rapport with skeptics is crucial. Before attempting to bring others to your cause, establish a genuine connection. Understand their enthusiasm or reservations, motivations, and perspectives on the proposed changes. Sharing a simple coffee and listening can turn a skeptic into a change advocate, underscoring the importance of connection over correction in effective change management.

2. Understand to Be Understood

Empathy is a cornerstone of effective change leadership. Actively listening and validating concerns not only shows respect but also provides insights into adapting the change strategy to better suit the team’s needs. DaSjaun Rose from MindWire Group emphasizes the need to “seek first to understand, then to be understood,” highlighting active listening and empathy as key to engaging skeptics in change management.

3. Use Positive Language and Cast A Change Vision

In the realm of change management, the power of words cannot be underestimated. Using positive language to frame change initiatives can significantly alter perceptions and attitudes. Leaders must articulate a clear, positive vision for the change, focusing on mutual benefits and opportunities rather than on losses, to shift perspectives and foster a more receptive environment for change. When using the right language, leaders become effective coaches and help to guide their team members through change effectively.

4. Embrace the OODA Loop

The OODA Loop, a dynamic framework consisting of Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act, offers leaders a robust strategy for implementing change. It begins with observing the internal and external environment, then orienting by analyzing this data to identify opportunities and challenges. Leaders then decide on the best course of action and implement these strategies. 

This iterative process ensures that change management is responsive and adaptable, allowing leaders to continuously refine their approach based on real-time feedback and evolving conditions. By leveraging the OODA Loop, leaders can navigate organizational change effectively, creating a flexible and resilient environment for continuous improvement and innovation.

5. Leading by Example: The Use Case of One

Demonstrating the desired change through your own actions sets a powerful example for the organization. When leaders embody the principles of the change they advocate for, it sends a strong message to skeptics and can significantly influence their acceptance of and engagement with the change process. 

Becoming an Effective Change Leader

Navigating organizational change is both an art and a science, requiring empathy, strategic communication, and a strong commitment to the vision. The strategies discussed are not merely about overcoming resistance but about leveraging skepticism as a constructive force in the change management process. Leaders are tasked not just with implementing change but with steering it with understanding and compassion.

Resistance offers a unique opportunity for growth, allowing both leaders and skeptics to learn and evolve through the change management journey. This collective path forward underscores the importance of each voice and concern as integral to achieving a more inclusive and effective change outcome.

So, leaders, let us embrace our pivotal role in change management. By connecting, understanding, and guiding with empathy and resolve, we can navigate the complexities of change and transform skepticism into a catalyst for success.

Your Next Step

In leading change, we are not just managing processes; we are guiding people, one evangelist or skeptic at a time. For personalized guidance on navigating change within your organization, contact DaSjaun Rose or our team at MindWire. Together, we can turn the skepticism of today into the change management triumphs of tomorrow.

Guide Your Team to Success

Access to this quick, one-page worksheet that will increase your odds at effectively managing change with your team.

DaSjaun Rose

All about MARs: Mind-Action-Results. He's a fun-loving problem solver with expertise in conflict resolution, DEI, and leadership. A health-conscious family man with a competitive streak, he finds joy in art and music.