Our Formula to Overcome Resistance

When we ask leaders why they’ve come to one of our courses, we usually hear a variation of “I need help managing resistance!”

The key is to re-frame how we think about resistance – and then develop plans to overcome it.

1. Resistance is Normal

Managing resistance is key to making change stick. It’s also a normal response to feelings of loss of control and disruption. This makes it an important barometer for how well we’re leading change.

Many changes fail – even brilliantly executed ones – because people have strong personal concerns. Will I be negatively impacted financially? Will my working relationships change? Who will my manager be?

Even committed employees can withdraw their support, either covertly or overtly, if their personal concerns are not managed. This is highly damaging to the change effort.

Leaders and change practitioners need to identify these personal concerns and, where possible, work to eradicate or lessen them.

2. Build commitment

All leaders need to understand the stages people go through to build commitment: awareness, acceptance, and then finally commitment.

Commitment is when the team owns the change – which only happens the team is empowered to build on and improve the new ways of working.

Building commitment reduces resistance because employees are regaining a sense of control over their environment. Failure to build commitment can result in lost momentum or erosion of the change.

By understanding this, leaders can tailor their change leadership approach to the current and desired commitment level of their team.

See our whitepaper, How Changefirst helps you implement change, for more.

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