Overcoming Resistance to Change in the Workplace: Debating AI's Role in Professional Development

    May 6, 2024 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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    Overcoming Resistance to Change in the Workplace: Debating AI's Role in Professional Development

    Ever wonder why some professionals embrace growth while others balk at the mere suggestion of change? We peel back the layers of resistance in the workplace, especially prevalent in the banking sector, where the reluctance to up-sell or cross-sell and aversion to feedback and coaching often impede progress. The underlying attitudes and motivations—or lack thereof—can thwart personal development, so we debate whether artificial intelligence is the panacea for such deep-seated behavioral challenges. The success of any training hinges less on the content delivered and more on the continuous reinforcement and willingness of both the learner and the leader to engage in the process. Let's contemplate the future of leadership and coaching in an AI-driven world, raising alarms about the potential abdication of vital talent development responsibilities. Meet the intersection of technology, self-awareness, and professional growth.

    Last week, we covered our first installment in the month of May, discussing artificial intelligence and coaching. One of the things we also have to think about with AI is something called self-awareness. When I go to organizations, the first thing I normally ask them is, "What are you coaching to?" We have a lot of bank and credit union clients, and most of the time they don't say they're focusing on upselling and cross-selling skills and perfecting that ability on the front lines. What they usually bring up is the resistance to doing so. Attitude, motivation, resistance to feedback...those are common things we hear in our business. With someone who's not upselling or cross-selling, or someone who's resistant to feedback, or somebody who's lacking motivation...here's my contention: is AI really the solution? Here's why I ask.

    If someone truly wants to get better at something, how often have we said in the last 10 years, "Google it. Go find out how." Yet people don't do that.

    For decades, I've been saying in Training Magazine and for the people who attend my webinars, training's not the problem. It's the reinforcement of training.

    Two things are at play with training reinforcement:

    1) The willingness of the learner

    2) The willingness of the leader to coach the learner.

    That's it. If you go to a class on handling conflict for two days, you're not going to leave that class handling conflict the next 363 days, flawlessly, without hesitation, with absolute, supreme confidence unless it's reinforced. Unless it's practiced, nurtured, and coached to.

    I could put you on our practice app, and you can practice that because that's one of our modules. Yet what's the willingness of the learner? How is the leader going to reinforce the utilization of artificial intelligence?

    I'll share in our next segment next week about the risk to leadership using AI, because I believe that this is going to happen. The reason I believe it's going to happen is I think many leaders are going to try and absolve themselves of some development talent responsibilities that are germane to mentoring or coaching because they've done the same thing with training.

    So, be sure to join me next week.

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    About Author

    Tim Hagen
    Tim Hagen

    Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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