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Dealing With Resistance

 

Disciplines > Change Management > Resistance to change > Dealing With Resistance

Facilitation | Education | Involvement | Negotiation | Manipulation | Coercion | See also

 

Here is a small raft of things you can do to handle resistance, starting with kind and moral approaches and ending with the harsher end of gaining compliance. This whole site has fleets other things you can do, of course.

Facilitation

The best approach to creating change is to work with them, helping them achieve goals that somehow also reach to the goals of the change project. When you work with people, they will be happier to work with you.

This is a good practice when people want to collaborate but are struggling to adjust to the situation and achieve the goals of change.

Education

When people are not really bought into the rationale for the change, they may well come around once they realize why the change is needed and what is needed of them. In particular, if new skills are required, you can provide these via a focused course of education.

Involvement

When people are not involved physically or intellectually, they are unlikely to be involved emotionally either. One of the best methods of getting people bought in is to get them involved. When their hands are dirty, they realize that dirt is not so bad, after all. They also need to justify their involvement to themselves and so persuade themselves that is the right thing to do.

Negotiation

When the other person cannot easily be persuaded, then you may need to give in order to get. Sit them down and ask what they are seeking. Find out what they want and what they will never accept. Work out a mutually agreeable solution that works just for them and just for you.

Manipulation

Manipulation means controlling a person's environment such that they are shaped by what is around them. It can be a tempting solution, but is morally questionable and, if they sense what you are doing, will lead to a very dangerous backlash. Only consider this when change is necessary in the short term and all other avenues have been explored.

Coercion

Even more extreme than subtle manipulation is overt coercion. This is where you sit them down and make overt threats, for example that if they do not comply that they will lose their jobs, perhaps in a humiliating and public sacking. This should only be used when speed is of the essence or when the other person themselves has taken to public and damaging actions.

See also

Pull, Push principle, Exchange principle

 

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