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Overcoming Immunity to Change in Business Settings

Have you ever had an employee who, although strong in many areas, even "high potential", received the same feedback year after year about what he or she needed to improve? Or, are you now trying to change your own behavior?

Some issues that even high potential leaders typically grapple with year after year are:

  • delegating better
  • becoming a better listener
  • managing emotions


Harvard professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey suggest that, often, it is not a matter of insufficient motivation (what some might call "low will", but a matter of strong competing commitments that may be out of our awareness. What are these competing commitments? Often, they are commitments to avoid the possibility of something bad happening to us, often something that may not even be within our awareness, but something that makes perfect sense, given our current assumptions.

By identifying our competing commitments, understanding the role they play in keeping us stuck and unable to create lasting change, and the assumptions that keep our "immunity to change" system in place, we have a good chance of making lasting progress.

Once we have identified the assumptions that keep us stuck, we can devise tests or experiments that will allow us to see if it might be possible to discard at least some of these assumptions. If we find that some of our assumptions are no longer valid, change becomes significantly easier.

Working with an Immunity to Change coach, you and/or your team members can develop an immunity to change map, devise experiments to test assumptions, and work toward lasting change and improvement.

If you are interested in finding out more about immunity to change coaching, just let me know.