The Five Reactions to Change

Category: Organizational Change

It's commonly accepted that change is an inevitable reality in business today. Change can be unsettling and managing or leading teams through change requires a careful hand. Understanding how we typically respond to change can help you adjust your approach to leading through change. 

There are five typical human responses to change:

Deflector a.k.a. “Not Me”

This behaviour is characterized by deflecting responsibility. A typical deflector will place attention on why they are not to blame for a problem or failure. This behaviour stems from habit in order to protect their self-esteem.

Victim a.k.a. “Poor Me”

Victims usually resist accepting responsibility and focus their attention on challenges that they may face. They rationalize their response as being attributed to their challenges.

Personalizer a.k.a. “It’s Me”

People who personalize issues focus on blaming themselves rather than seeking solutions. They usually are depressed about their situation, and the impact that it is having on them.

Naive Optimist a.k.a. “No Problem”

Naive optimists don’t spend time thinking about problems. They appear unrealistic to others.

Agent a.k.a. “Here’s What I am Going to Do”

Agents assume ownership when faced with challenges. They are action-oriented and spend constructive time analyzing the past with the sole purpose of learning from it. They have the confidence and believe in themselves and their abilities. Agents are determined individuals who actively seek closure and commitment from others. 

How do you react to change?  How do your team members react? 


Speak with a HORN representative to find out more about how to positively influence your team through change.