Dealing with resistance
Resistance - Part 3
Bob: Did you enjoy the annual review with our new CEO, Sheila?
Walter:To be honest Bob, not really. I am dealing with a female CEO for the first time in my life and its a different ball game altogether! Secondly, I have been collaborating intensively with logistics, agriculture, and education. And now they want me to cover healthcare as well. I find healthcare complex. To top it all, managing my team through this huge change in itself has been exhausting.
Bob: I feel you have a huge opportunity Walter. You are capable, and hence been asked to take on a new sector. I was also asked to take up the financial sector by the board. How's that for complexity! Anyhow, feel free to share your worries with Sheila. She is very open and willing to hear everyone out.
Walter: Thanks Bob. It's not all that bad either. I think I will manage. Don't worry.
Sounds familiar? As you have read earlier, behaviour plays a major role in managing change.
Results from survey's:
From our experience we have gathered tips for you, that will enable you to understand human behaviour, and deal with resistance during the change process.
  • Resistance indicates that people expect change or are aware that it is taking place.
  • People from whom you expect least resistance may also develop resistance at a later stage, if at any point they feel the change will hamper their ideas, leadership style, or special projects.
  • Support the people who will be impacted by the effects of the change process the most. They need support to overcome their own inhibitions and resistance.
  • Resistance should never be misconstrued as a personal attack. Open continuous and clear communication is a must. Focussing on moulding positive human behaviour is the key.
Ways of dealing with resistance
You now have a good understanding of how to recognise resistance. You also know what you need to keep in mind to manage the situation. Given below are a few practical ways in which you can deal with resistance in a real life scenario.
  • Identify the 'quick supporters' first. They create a positive atmosphere and will take many more under their wings.
  • Do not waste energy on skeptics or firm opponents, but ensure that they are distanced and not allowed to infect others with their resistance.
  • Communicate with people as much as possible about the project and the advantages it brings, but do not be repetitive.
  • Ask people to create their personal visions as a result of the project. Help and enable them by asking specific questions.
  • Shift focus from problems to opportunities. Stimulate people to think creatively.
  • Help people prioritize. Enable them with a number of planning instruments. Wherever possible, involve them and allow them to make a conscious choice between joining and not joining.
  • Stick to your word with respect to the project and timelines. Ensure that others in the chain are also committing themselves to realistic agreements and timelines.
  • Be creative. Make the project interesting. Ensure it provides work satisfaction. This will stimulate people and make them cooperate.
Bob: Come on Walter, be frank. You are in the resistance mode yourself, aren't you?
Walter: Hmmm, maybe. Let's go grab a beer. I would like to share some experiences with you.
Oct 2015