Hey reader, Kenny Chapman here. 

Today, we are talking about change management pain points

Change management can be equated to managing pain. 

What if I created a new word that is pain, right? 

How about “painged?”

Clearly, I’m not a super book educated as well as a textbook educated. 

I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks, as many of you out there as well have, I’m sure. 

I think about change and pain, and they seem to go hand in hand. 

Why not combine it to “painge?”

change management pain points banner

Is Change Painful?

Here’s the question: Is changed painful? 

I might have many of you shake your head up and down with me right now. 

Yes, of course, it is Kenny. 

It seems as though every time I turn around, every time I’m asked to grow, every time I challenged myself, every time the world changes, every time there’s a global pandemic, every time there’s a recession, every time I have my personal relationships in disarray, every time my income is challenged, and so on and so.

The world changes. And it hurts. It sucks!

The reality is all of us handle change differently. 

Today, I want you to be easy with yourself, and I’m going to talk about a little story of a client that I have. 

I’m going to share a little bit of insight around how pain and change kind of tie together. 

Think About Pain In Your Muscles

But at the end of the day, you know, we have these changes in pain muscles. 

As we know, if we’re going to the gym or we’re going to do certain things, muscles can develop fatigue. 

If we overuse them, we get fatigued. 

And in a business environment, as a leadership environment, if we’re changing too much, too fast, too long, we will create fatigue on the other side of things. 

We can develop tolerance if you will. 

The more that we change and the more we create cultures of change, the more we embrace change, the more we understand the why behind the change, we can reduce the amount of pain that is inflicted. 

Is it actually less? Probably not. 

But we won’t notice it as much.

We all know at the end of the day, perception becomes a reality.

If our team has a perception that this is going to be, or currently is, painful, then certainly they’re going to manifest that reality in their own understanding and their belief system in their actions and their behaviors. 


We need to think about the type of mindset that we have around pain and change. 

There are two different types of mindsets:

  • Growth mindset
  • Fixed mindset

If you’re growth-oriented, you want to grow; you want to learn. You want to get better. 

If you’re more of a fixed mindset, things are the way they are. I was born this way. 

This is my lot in life. 

This is the path I was given a little more fixed there. 

You can learn something today, not necessarily learn for me. More importantly, learn about you. My brand is about you learning about you as a leader, and that’s where I want to focus our time today. 

When you think about pain and change, the reality is every time; there will be a pain. 

We create a change of state, a change of personnel, a change in process; we create a dip, or whatever. 

Imagine A Line

I want you to picture in your mind right now there’s a line that’s going along, and it’s just running very, very methodically horizontally, and then boom! you create a change. 

And as soon as you create a change, there’s that bam; it just hits you. 

When that happens, that line begins to go down.

When you change things, that line now has a dip, and it’s going down, and the dip goes along, and it continues.

Then it kind of levels out at the bottom. 

And then it goes along a little way more. 

Then it starts to go back up, and as it continues to go back up, it will eventually cross over the line that it was at horizontally, but ultimately it will continue going up. 

Check out the graphic for what I mean. 

Change always seems worse at first, but if done well, the change ends up in a stronger place. 

After all, you’ve learned from the process.

change management curve

Managing The Change Curve

The leader’s job is to manage what we call this change curve.

The change curve is about this dip. 

How long does it go?

And how deep does it go? 

That depends on your communication, on your preparation, on how you’ve got your team ready, on the type of culture that you have on the type of team that you have on the type of trust that you have within this said team.

Change Story

Stick with me here as I share this. I’m about to share what surprised me about this story. 

I was recently working with a client at a deep level, and I was working with one of the frontline managers, and I had done some change management work with this team and this company and team of leaders. 

We’re making some changes. 

We’re challenging some status quo and some different things going on. 

I was talking to this particular manager, and he said this to me: 

“Well, you know, I’m, I’m starting to kind of get my head back on. And it’s been quite a challenge since you brought these things to our awareness. 

Since you came in and stirred up the pain, now I’m really beginning to understand it and see what you mean.”

He literally said, “when you stirred up the pain.” 

That’s why I wanted to come to you today and talk to you about this because here’s a frontline manager that’s learning, growing, becoming the best version of himself that he can be. 

Off the cuff, he doesn’t even know about this article and how I’m connecting change to pain. 

I haven’t even talked to him about it yet because words carry emotion, and emotion carries behavior, and feelings come from emotion. 


We All Make The Unconscious Connection Between Change And Pain

I want you to just kind of think about what this means unconsciously. 

He called our change plan stirring pain up. I love it!

It was great. 

I’ve talked to other managers on that team that feel really good about the direction, and they agree it’s painful, but it’s good.  

There is change going on. If we equate pain with change, then we need to accept there will be pain.

Think about this for yourself now. 

How do you feel about pain and change?

How does your team feel about it?

Be honest. 

If you shy away from it, you’ll be stuck in the dip, or you’ll crawl back up to where you were. 

I started putting this topic together at the end of 2020, a year of change and pain.

Now, I’m focusing on the business side of things and not at all mitigating the pain the virus has caused. It’s terrible. 

But for leaders, change was created for them that they did not choose. 

Most pain is created, and most change is created outside of people’s desire. 

If you would step into pain more, if you would step in to change more, you would step into greatness more because all of your greatness lies right beyond your comfort zone. 

And your comfort zone is fictitious. 

If you’re a lifelong learner with a growth mindset, comfort zones, equal pain.

Workout Those Change Muscles

Working out your change muscle gets to be working better and better. 

When companies hire me and bring in my team over on the Blue Collar side of what we do, and they come in, we often come right in and “stir the pot.” We stir up change, pain, and “painge.” 

If you work with me on the life architecture side of the coaching that I do, we do deep-dive work in the purpose guided leadership on the change we’ll face. 

Some of your challenges, some of your struggles, some of the things that are holding you back could be painful. 

How deep the pain goes and how long it lasts is 100% up to you. 

My friend, when you think about your own level of leadership, your own team that you have out in the front line, leaders you have on your team, how are they communicating?

How are they receiving? 

How are they handling the changes necessary as you go to the next level? 

Are they managing change and getting through the pain?

Or do they run from it?

You have to create different things, different behaviors, different responsibilities, different capabilities. 

That takes commitment. 

That takes courage. 

It takes challenge. 

Final Thoughts

Change management is painful. 

I guarantee you will have pain when you create change. 

Whether you go to the gym or do a couch-to-5K program, whether you reinvent your business, or even implement a small change in your intake systems, there will be pain, and there will be change. 

Your muscles are going to scream at you. 

You are going to inflict intentional pain for growth. 

That’s what life’s all about. 

That’s where you step into your greatness. 

This where you honor your truth, your life design, and you decide who you really want to be, who you can be, and who you are destined to be. 

My friend that is ultimately what it’s all about. 

Be a growth mindset. 

Get used to the pain. 

And step into your greatness because of it. 

Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic day! 

You may also enjoy my post on slowing down your mind and how to avoid those “Why Did I Do That?” moments.

Pin It on Pinterest