Over 10 years we help companies reach their financial and branding goals. Maxbizz is a values-driven consulting agency dedicated.




411 University St, Seattle

Change Part 2: Change and Resistance

Change almost always includes some form of resistance. Butterflies break through their cocoon in order to be free. Before birds can fly, they peck through their shell. Resistance can come in various shapes and sizes, and with change, leaders are promised a portion of resistance.  

First, I want to acknowledge that some forms of resistance can be helpful. If push back results in sharper strategies and more alignment with the values of the organization, it will result in greater success. Perhaps the leaders overlooked details about implementing the change which would have resulted in frustration. Perhaps leaders simply needed to create space for more conversations in order to avoid rumors. These are ways in which resistance can be beneficial. Positive resistance includes humility, collaboration, and keeping the common values at the forefront.

However, the resistors to change can often feel like a nuisance. A leader must accept that getting 100% buy-in from the team is extremely unlikely. Certain members of the organization refuse change simply because they want to keep status quo. Perhaps fear is fueling resistance because there is a lack of clarity surrounding expectations. The ripple effect of knowing how and when to address resistance is crucial. Knowing what is expected of team members throughout the change has the potential to eliminate fear while also providing a sense of stability. 

There are important questions to consider for leaders who are dealing with resistance.

*What is the ultimate source of the resistance? 

*Have you, as the leader, been clear and consistent with your expectations? 

*Who has won the resistors over in the past? How can you approach these changes similarly?

*What would a mutual win look like? 

*How can you tie in core values of the organization to the change(s)? 

In addition, addressing the concerns and possible pitfalls of these changes will build trust. Rather than minimizing the potential challenges, it is wise to call them out and discuss the concerns. In doing so, leaders are creating common ground and open the door for vulnerability. Small wins along the way build trust. Leaders may not get 100% buy-in, but perhaps team members are now willing to lean into the change rather than resist it. 

It’s just as important to address concerns of not implementing the changes. Sharing the dangers and potential outcomes of not making these changes can be awakening for those who initially resisted. Leaders who are realistic gain credibility among both the supporters and resistors. Even winning over a few of the resistors can positively influence the entire team. Celebrating the small wins and moving forward with those who are ready to implement change is important, because leaders can build from the momentum of small wins. 

Growing pains are real and change can be extremely challenging, but strong leadership can ease the pain by incorporating these strategies. 

Click here to read Change Part 1: Leaders and Superheroes