Why Your Prospects Seem to Irrationally Resist Change

by | Dec 7, 2023

Dave Mashburn explained why your recruiting prospects often irrationally resist making a change.

The only time that we are comfortable with first steps and change is when we are young.

We don’t mind falling a few times before learning to stand and walk.

But as people get older, they resist change and become more attached to security and familiarity, even if we are bored or unhappy with the familiar.

This doesn’t mean a person will never make changes, but it does mean that the changes being considered will usually be met with internal (and sometime irrational) defenses.

The defense follows a predictable pattern: self-activation leads to anxiety, and anxiety leads to defense.

To make a change, a person must self-activate (I’m down 35% this year, and what I used to do is not working. I need to try something different.).

The moment self-activation occurs, your prospect will begin to experience anxiety.

And to fight off the anxiety, they’ll manufacture defenses.

This means they’ll come up with a multitude of reasons they should no longer consider moving in the direction they were previously excited about considering.

Therefore, the recruiting process is often filled with many fits and starts.

Hiring managers who are willing to be patient will eventually win-over some of the most defensive prospects.

But it takes time and gentle persistence.


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