While our first reaction to resistance to change may be to quash it as quickly as possible, resistance is not necessarily all bad. Any change brings resistance with it, whether the change is positive or negative—so it’s unrealistic to think you will ever eliminate resistance. Resistance is inevitable, even when the change is positive and will make the lives of individuals brighter. When brought out into the open, resistance can help us surface problems, find errors, or improve on ideas. But resistance can only be managed when it is overt. If you can’t see it or hear it, you can’t manage it.
Not following through on commitments is a form of resistance. You can probably see clearly how this resistance might sabotage your efforts toward your goal.
Our resistance is brilliant. It continually takes new and different forms and is quite good at disguising itself and finding new ways to outsmart us.
Resistance will keep us from achieving what we want and need. Worse than that, resistance has the power to sending us and our businesses careening in exactly the opposite direction.
Whether you are a leader in an organization or in your own life, anytime you find yourself in a change situation, you will find resistance. If you don’t, you are not looking hard enough. It is the way of things. You will resist. Your staff will resist. Your boss will resist. Your clients will resist. Potential employers will resist. Your family will resist. The higher the stakes, the more resistance you will find.
If we are not aware that resistance is at work, resistance wins. Your only hope of overcoming resistance is to expect it. But even that isn’t enough. You also have to value it and embrace it. You have to work with your resistance, not against it.
You have to get intimate with resistance. And that starts with recognizing it. Here’s what you want to look for:
Obvious resistance is easy to spot:
The most powerful forms of resistance are usually much more subtle:
Becoming very busy with something else
Bringing up other issues
Compulsively checking your BlackBerry or iPhone
Feigning acceptance, without asking necessary questions or working out the details
Finding reasons to be removed from the task
Getting distracted and not completing
Not being available
Not getting started
Offering misleading information
Surfing the web
Oh yeah, and forgetting.
Which of these do you do?
Which do you see the people you work with doing?
Which do you see in your clients?
Start noticing the signs of resistance in you and the people around you.
Remember resistance is very creative.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.