Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0241, January 31, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

Facilitating change is the essence of our work as facilitators, trainers, and group leaders. In a world that is changing so rapidly, we hear a lot about how people's resistance to change and the rate of change make change very difficult.
In this week's article, "Do You Resist Change or Being Changed?" submitted by my friend Kevin Eikenberry, Kevin presents five simple ways to influence change in others.

Kevin was interviewed on the topic, "Influence Change in Groups and Individuals." In this recorded interview, you'll hear ideas that will help both you and those you work with to become more flexible and open to change. See details after the article below.

Join National Memory Trainer Tom Weber
in an interview entitled, "I'm sorry, what's your name again?" Learn simple memory tips and insights to help remember those things most important to group leaders--the names of their participants and key elements of their presentations. Click here for details

The Improvisational Facilitator Returns
. Sue Walden and I will be leading another session of the 5-day teleclass, "The Improvisational Facilitator," the week of February 27th. This class always receives rave reviews. We'll present powerful, practical improv techniques you can use to immediately enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills. This class is very interactive and uses many innovative experiential activities that will surely surprise you. Register by February 15th for a $10 discount. Click here for details.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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The Point

Do You Resist Change or Being Changed?
5 Ways to Influence Change in Others

Group Process Skill

Because of my work as a consultant, trainer and coach I deal with change and people’s reactions to it all the time. When a Client decides to work with us, they are recognizing that some sort of change is needed. After all, if they want more effective teams, better Customer Service, higher creativity, more effective training, or more effective leadership in their organizations, something has to become different than it is currently. Change must occur.

Because of this, change is often at the center of our work, and we’ve learned a fair bit about it. In short, here are two of the most important things I have learned about change:

  • People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.
  • Regardless of our position, we become significantly more effective when we understand change and how to influence it in others.

Most people nod their head at the first one when I mention it, but some scratch their head at the second. So let’s start there.

Why Does It Matter?

All of us have parts of our jobs where we need to influence others to think differently or to behave differently – in other words we need to be able to influence change.

Think about it this way.

Whether you are a janitor, salesperson, Customer service professional, trainer, first line supervisor, manager, leader, or C-level executive, are there times when you encounter resistance to your ideas, approaches, and expertise? In these cases, does your job get easier and would the organization benefit when you are successful in getting others to make those changes? Of course.

We can, in fact, all be more effective in our work when we better understand how to influence change in others. The scope of the change doesn’t matter. Some of us are proposing or leading big sweeping organizational changes, while others are making small procedure changes. All of us need to support and champion changes, and therefore benefit from greater skills and understanding in this area.

Resistance is a Key.

There are many factors or levers to influencing change, but one of the key ones is reflected by my first lesson mentioned above – “people don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” If we want to help people change, we have to help them decide the change is in their best interest. We have to influence people, not force change upon them.


Here are five things you can do, starting right now, to influence change in others:

"Get" their perspective. Your perspective, goals, and belief in the change don’t really matter. All that matters is the perspective and beliefs of the other person. We must start by understanding their view of the world. Determine their concerns, fears and assumptions regarding the change. Doing this will definitely help you counter some of these concerns. But the real benefit in truly understanding their perspective is that you are valuing their opinion and they will feel they are a part of a conversation, not a sales pitch.

Acknowledge their perspective. You may not agree with their assumptions or share their fears and concerns, but you can acknowledge how they feel. Let them know that you understand their point of view and that it is a valid view. Part of the reason people resist being changed is that they never feel validated or acknowledged. Forgo this step at your peril.

Speak to their interests. Once you know more about their issues and concerns you can help them see a different perspective. By acknowledging their perspective as a valid one, their mind will likely be more open to hearing a new perspective. Talk to them about the differences in your perspectives. Reduce their fears. Build a clearer picture of the future after the change, explaining the parts of it that will be of greatest interest and benefit in their mind.

Recognize natural tendencies. Everyone has their own natural tendencies towards change. Some are more open and move more quickly to a new approach or system. Others are more cautious. If you often find yourself as the influencer of change, perhaps you are in the later group. Be aware that not everyone will move at the same rate.

Be patient. Give people some time. Let them reflect on what you have shared with them. Give them time to justify a new position in their mind. Recognize that by giving people time it may also help them “save face” as they begin to advocate a change that they had previously opposed.
With these five approaches you give yourself a better chance to influence others to change. Each of these alone will help you – but taken together they greatly reduce resistance and help others move towards a changed perspective and actions. At a minimum you will have reduced people’s resistance to change. At best they won’t feel they are being changed – they will recognize the change as their own.

About the Author. Kevin Eikenberry is a learning and leadership expert, and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group. The Kevin Eikenberry Group is a learning consulting company that provides a wide range of services, including training delivery and design, facilitation, performance coaching, organizational consulting, and speaking services. Kevin is the author of the best-selling book Vantagepoints on Learning and Life, a contributing author to more than a dozen books, including the best-selling, Walking with the Wise and publishes four ezines, read by over 100,000 people worldwide. Kevin's students and clients consistently rave about his effectiveness, many calling him "the best trainer I've ever experienced."


Which of the guidelines above have you missed in your efforts to influence change? How do you plan to incorporate it in the future? Let me know your thoughts and experience in this area.

Facilitation Expert Tele-Seminar

Influencing Change in Groups and Individuals
Discover how change can be
in your best interest

Featuring Kevin Eikenberry, facilitator, trainer, author, and speaker

"Just in Time" Learning

Regardless of the role we're playing, whether a leader, facilitator, trainer, consultant, or coworker, change is a part of our work. And if we want to help people change, we have to help them decide that change is in their best interest. In other words, we have to influence people, not force change upon them. You'll leave with ideas that will help both you and those you work with to become more flexible and open to change. Some of the points we'll discuss are...

What are people's basic beliefs about change?
How to we get people to examine those beliefs?
How do those beliefs relate to influencing change?
What are the key levers, we can use to understand and influence change?
What things can we expect from any group?
How fast can we expect change, to be accepted?
How does our role impact our ability to influence change?
We'll answer any questions you have too!

This seminar is free to members.
Click here
to view features and benefits of membership.

Click here for details about this interview and registration.


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In the Spotlight

The Improvisational Facilitator

It's easier than you think...your life is already an improv!

Learn improv techniques to become a more effective facilitator, trainer, and group leader

February 27th-March 3rd, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes each day.

A week after the course I have found myself talking about and actually using the techniques taught! The experiential based learning really worked for me and I learnt whilst having fun – always a good way to retain new learnings. The course has provided me with a toolkit of great techniques to improve my own facilitation, as well as some enjoyable exercises to use with delegates. I have nothing but praise for both Sue and Steve, who walked their talk with their own facilitation skills – they simply flowed through the course with grace and intelligence. The content, the materials and the facilitators is 5 star stuff and I highly recommend it to any facilitator.
--Amanda Alexander, Coach and Founder of

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