Like peanut butter and jelly, or mac and cheese, change and resistance often go hand in hand. For many young leaders, encountering resistance is very difficult. Some freak out and others loose perspective. What they don’t know is that many older and more experienced leaders have the same reaction.
In the beginning, we all need to realize three important truths about resistance. First, people do not actually resist change. What they resist is the loss of control and confidence. They also are reacting to is the pain that will come with change
Second, when discussing change, we should expect resistance. As Jeffery D. Ford and Laurie W. Ford in their article called ““Decoding Resistance to Change,” Harvard Business Review, April 2009, note, “Resistance is, in fact, a form of feedback, often provided by people who know more about day-to-day operations than you do.... Dismissing the feedback deprives you of potentially valuable information, costs you goodwill, and jeopardizes important relationships.” Remember it is just feedback.
Third, don’t take resistance personally. Someone in your position on the organizational chart has to communicate the change. If it is you, learn to let people challenge your ideas and perspective. Support people and respect their perspective. Remember as I pointed out last week on this blog, “they don’t know what they don’t know.” Frequently people resist change because no has pointed out that not changing is more dangerous than changing.
Over time and with good support, all of us can learn to handle change and resistance. It just takes some willingness to listen and be respectful.
Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257