How to sell people on change


We know change is inevitable. We know change often leads to good things. We know we should embrace change. But most of us hate change. We’re not fond of it in our personal lives where we directly see the results. We’re even less fond of it in the workplace where the results may not be so tangible.

So how do we sell change to people?

The same way we sell anything to anyone.

1. Have a reason.

Sometimes we think it should be obvious to people why we need to change something. Spoiler alert – it’s not. Be explicit why something needs to change. The more you can connect the change personally to team members and their work, the better.

2. Highlight the benefits.

Drill down on the benefits that will come from making a change. People need to feel what the change will bring to their lives. Don’t just say it once either, keep at it until people see that change may be uncomfortable, but it will be worth it.

3. Make it easy (or at least as easy as possible).

Going outside our comfort zones is awkward enough. It becomes excruciating if changes are unnecessarily complicated or we feel we don’t have the help we need to do them well. People will balk at change if they don’t feel they are supported.

4. Have fun.

The easiest way to get people to embrace change is to make it fun. Kids like reading books they find interesting. People like exercising when it becomes a social event. Check out this video encouraging people to take the stairs more. If you can add an element of fun to your change, people are much more willing to accept it.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Think of a time when change felt painful. What made it difficult?

  2. Think of a time when change was welcomed. What made it easier?

  3. What can you do as a team to embrace change in the future?