CHAPTER 12

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USE RESISTANCE AS YOUR FRIEND

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.

—Peter M. Senge

THERE IS ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE

Often there are several. You know . . . the ones who resist every change.

You have an image of them in your head right now, don’t you?

If we are lucky, they adopt a neutral position to wait and see if the change has an opportunity to succeed. More likely, they will find the most inconvenient time to raise a question or make a comment that throws cold water on the group’s enthusiasm.

My dear, sweet southern grandmother would have said that these are the people who would complain about a $100 gift . . . bless their heart.

WHAT WE WANT TO DO

Our initial reaction to resistance is emotion. They push us, and we want to push back. We might write off the first instance as the awkward execution of an honest attempt to offer a helpful insight. By the third time, we are dreading the change because we are certain that it will mean doing battle with “them.”

Over the years, a few managers have even confessed to wanting to open their window, lean out, and scream the immortal line from the movie Network: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

WHAT WE END UP DOING

You never really scream, do you?

I didn’t think so. But chances are good that you have tried at least one—if not all—of the following approaches for dealing with resistance to ...

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