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Many people believe that if you want something to change then you have to take action. But many believe that change is a scary concept due to many unknowns and possible cracks. In the article “Be the Change You Want to See” by Gabrielle Pfeiffer, she mentions that change occurs when you “act on it…” instead of complaining about it and not being active. In addition to, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of “Ten Reasons People Resist Change” suggest advice for leaders who want to be successful at accomplishing change. Kanter also emphasizes the ten main reason why people abstain from change. One change I believe people refrain from the most in society is how we handle rape. Now if leaders want to tackle this issue and be successful, they are going to have to consider what Kanter refers to as “concerns about competence,” “excess uncertainty” and “sometimes the threat is real.”
The main concern leaders need to address when it comes to the issue if rape is “concerns of competence.” In cases such as rape, people may fear they won’t be able to make a difference about how they bring about that change. Many people “might express skepticism…” (Kanter), about if the change they are bringing to the justice system will succeed. That means that people resist this because they fear that their efforts to change this will be in vain as some do not have an understanding of what rape is. I have felt this way about a change in my high school with my music department. We had to completely scrape a set list for a performance that was three weeks away, but we weren’t sure if we could fulfill this without sounding terrible in front of an audience. Our conductor guided us through the next three weeks and kept reassuring us that if we practice a couple of times a week with our sections, we will do fine. We ended up doing great at our performance. The whole idea is that leaders need to constantly reassure followers that they can make a difference and provide abundant resources (whether that be education on rape and possible have a presentation from people who have survived sexual assault). Having those resources readily available, not only educated your followers but helps them be less skeptic about making the change.
Another concern many leaders may face when addressing this issue it is what is known as “excess uncertainty.” Just like “Concerns of Competence” many people are uncomfortable with change because they don’t know what the result is going to be. We would rather be “…mired in misery than head to an unknown.” (Kanter). They fear that the change may not result in a positive result. I have experienced this sort of change many times, for example, in my church, our pastor had to take a couple of months off because he was getting treatment for his cancer. That meant all the other pastors had to step up and fill in until the leading pastor came back. It was hard because most of the congregation feared that the pastors would not do as great of a job as the pastor. So some of the people stopped coming back. The point is that people fear change because they don’t know what lies ahead. Leaders should address this issue by providing a method that makes the transition easier. Leaders should also address this by making the process very precise and clear.
Finally, leaders should focus on the issue referred to as “sometimes the threat is real.” Many people fear that if we change the way rape is handled then that might create a negative effect. “Change is resisted because it can hurt.” (Kanter) What Kanter is trying to empathize is that the change may be difficult, but leaders of society need to step up and guide their followers through the difficult transition in order to succeed. My friend experiences a change similar to this a while back ago when her parents went through a nasty divorce. Her dad has custody of her and her brother, and she didn’t want to stay with her father because he was emotionally abusive, but she didn’t have a choice. But if she would have been given the option of who she felt more comfortable staying with her probably would of transition into the change much easier as oppose to be forced to live with someone who she is not comfortable with. The point is people needed to be assured and possibly given options throughout the change even if it’s painful and extremely tough.
If leaders in society want to make a change to how we handle rape, those obstacles must be overcome to make that change. They must face these barriers to make progress. Now that leader has the information to make this change, as the saying goes “the world is your oyster.” As Gabrielle Pfeiffer stated “It doesn’t matter who you are, what your skin color is, or what political party you belong to…” you can make a difference in the world, as long as you are willing to contribute to making the change slightly less frightening.
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