The only thing we can be sure of in life and work is change. As a manager or senior manager, dealing with change is part of the day job and an essential skill for career success.
Resistance to change is natural; it is like a human brake, a 'digging your heels in' as a form of control/power when it feels to someone like their power is being taken away or a change is too scary to contemplate. Resistance occurs in organisations and individually - inaction is the result.
Resistance is caused by people's uncertainties about change not being answered or fears not being given 'an airing'. Overcoming resistance depends on understanding it, anticipating it, working with it, rather than getting frustrated by it.
Self-reflective question: “What resistance is going on in my organisation/firm and how can I identify the cause?
Resistance is caused by:
- Fear of change and not being good enough
- Fear of the unknown/uncertainty
- Poor communication
- No communication
- Changes to routine
- Low trust in a leader/organisation
- Misunderstanding about the need for change
- Perceived unfairness about the change e.g. loss of something valued
- Concerns re; loss of status, self-esteem
- Fear of failure
How can you spot resistance?
- Not listening/responding
- Testing leaders/assessing boundaries
- Missing meetings
- Not responding to e mails
- Arriving at work late
9 tips to handle resistance well
"Resistance is thought transformed into feeling. Change the thought that creates the resistance, and there is no more resistance."
Rachel Brushfield runs Energise – The Talent Liberation Company. She is a seasoned career and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience helping executives and professionals create a career strategy and plan for career success. Rachel is also a published author on talent management and professional development. Clients include a People of Briton award winner, Cranfield University and the managing partner of a top law firm.