By Linda Fisher Thornton
Why do we have such a powerful negative reaction when we find out that we need to change? The status quo literally has a grip on us.
“Bearing in mind our natural propensity for the status quo will enable us to recognize the allure of inertia and more effectively overcome it.”
Rob Henderson, How Powerful is Status Quo Bias, Psychology Today
According to Sue Langley, at the Langley Group, “It takes more effort to think about and do something new than react out of instinct or habit.” Fortunately, she adds, “willpower, focused attention and mindful action can be used to push through resistance and rewire habitual patterns.” (The Neuroscience of Change, Langley Group)
Being aware of the brain’s tendency to want to keep things the same is important in terms of ethical decision making. What could we be missing?
- Does that change we’ve been putting off put us at risk of failing to keep up with changing ethical expectations?
- Is our discomfort with change causing us to make decisions that harm individuals or groups?
- Are we thinking short term because it is more familiar, when a long-term perspective is really needed?
It will take an intentional effort to overcome the seductive power of the status quo. Take charge of the decision-making process and use ethical values to make ethical choices.
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Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
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