Dealing with Resistance to Change
Jared Simmons shares key tips for the frustrated change agent to help overcome the most common obstacles faced.
When you’re new to a role, you’re often hired to change something. You may need to launch a new project, implement a new system, or improve the performance of an existing process.
At some point, you will meet resistance. The team that passive-aggressively ignores your emails; the organization that can’t agree on scope or timeline; the leadership team that asks for more output with no associated investment or compromise.
I’ve been there too. It’s the worst.
It’s draining, it’s completely illogical, and it’s annoying. You’re just trying to solve the problem. You’re just trying to do your job. And whether they get that or not, chances are it’s not you that they’re reacting to–it’s the change you represent.
Resistance that feels personal
I once spent months helping a team establish work processes, metrics, and decision rights for a new platform that would reshape their entire supply chain. Every step I took toward solving the problem was met with active resistance by certain stakeholders. It baffled me. The numbers made sense. We were making progress. I thought I was a nice guy who was pretty easy to work with. I put in extra hours with people who weren’t catching on as quickly. But some people never got on board. And I couldn’t understand why until, in a rare moment of candor between meetings, the two leads for the sales team said to me, “I don’t even think this is the right answer for the customer. I believe what we’re doing today is what’s best for them.”
Then it hit me. They’re not fighting me. They’re fighting change.
Key points include:
- Change triggers fear
- Meeting resistance
- Taking it personally
Read the full article, A Message for the Frustrated Change Agent, on Outlastllc.com.