Now that the person has moved past the initial Shock, and the Anger they will start to Reject the impending change.

Rejection is different from anger because it is characterised by objections based on logic and reasoning. They might start to query the decision makers’ poor information, one-sided perspectives or even unfair motivations.

They will  create complex arguments as to why the change should not happen, often citing how badly it will effect other people. They may even put forward their own ‘helpful’ solutions based on ‘research’ (usually around the water cooler, of course).

At this stage it is important that you, as a team leader, have the facts. Often you will be implementing change that has not been your decision. But if you are implementing it, you need to

  • know the facts well
  • be clear on the rationale and
  • stress that the decision is unchangeable.

Now is not the time to say ‘my hands are tied’ or ‘it’s them up there’ and so on. Now is the time to put faith in the decision your leaders have made, and stand strong. If you’re team think that you are weak and simply ‘giving in’ to pressure from above, you will lose credibility and respect. Not only will they reject the change, but they will reject you as their leader and that is a lot harder to overcome.