The Change Maker
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About the "Change Maker" from Don't Shoot The Dog, by Karen Pryor:
What people do when you start to institute a change (in chronological order)
What people say in the process of accepting the change:
- Ignore you
- Pretend to agree but actually do nothing
- Resist, delay, obstruct
- Openly attack you (the dangerous phase, but also a sign that change is
- Take credit
How the change maker can react effectively:
- "That might work for your population but not for mine." (absorbing)
- "I can use it but not for anything important." (absorbing and utilizing)
- "Some of my people can use it if they feel they need to." (utilizing)
- "Oh yes, we've been doing that for years, it's quite good." (utilizing and
- "We've come up with a really incredible program, you should try it."
(taking credit and proselytizing)
Attack is information; it tells you:
- When they ignore you, find allies and persist.
- Don't be misled by lip service. Find allies and persist.
- Meet resistance with persistence. Move around the resistance; try other
- The stage of open attack is a touchy time.
- Keep your head down, but persist. Don't take the attack personally, even if
it is a personal attack.
They're taking credit for your idea? By all means, let them; your goal is
the change. Credit is a low-cost reinforcer and people who want it don't
satiate. Give it away in buckets.
- You're getting somewhere: change IS happening, causing extinction-induced
- Your attacker is frightened. Empathize.
- Your attacker still believes in the efficacy of aversives.
- Absorbing and utilizing: this stage can last a year or more. Maintain
generous schedules of reinforcement.
Are they pitching the change? Good. If you want to change something else,
you now have new allies.