Understanding Resistance

Resistance is the most important factor in change and the most neglected. . . .Research suggests that resistance is often the main reason change fails.

——Rick Maurer1

Resistance to change is a natural part of the learning process, and dealing with it can be one of the more challenging aspects of training. As change management consultant Jerome Jellison says, “Like gravity, resistance is a fact of life.”2

As you may have experienced, when handled poorly, participant resistance can scuttle a workshop. However, when you have a pragmatic understanding of resistance and know how to deal with it skillfully, resistance will seldom thwart the progress of your training. This chapter discusses the dynamics of resistance. With ...

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