Manage Your Resistance

Manage Your Resistance

Put Your Leader Hat On

Who would you rather work with if you’re implementing a new change in your organization?  Would you rather work with someone who has been there for ten years–who knows his/her way around the organization, who knows how to make things happen in the organization?  Or would you rather have someone who has been there a couple of months, who has begun to know where the bathroom is and where important people sit?

The ten-year guy, right?


Why is that? Because the ten-year person is really committed to the way things are–‘the way we do it.’  Even if s/he doesn’t like it.  Even if s/he complains about it.  The ten-year person has been through all the ‘we tried that and it didn’t works,’ all the times s/he had to be reorganized or was left to do the work of those who left, who had to learn new systems, and who may or may not remember the good parts (results) of those changes, but who does remember the problems.  The ten-year person doesn’t want any more change (unless s/he gets to direct it).

The new person not only doesn’t have that history, or those scars, but also EXPECTS to have to go through those kinds of changes and challenges.  The new person follows directions and tries to please whoever is in charge.

Now, Which Are You?

Are you the new person who is emotionally and intellectually ready to not only participate, but also to help?  Or are you the long-term employee who isn’t?  You may be telling yourself that you are change-ready.  And maybe you are.  But change burnout, or change immunity, happens to all of us.  Yes . . . even me.

I’ve been doing change management for a long time.  I really know how to spot resistance and how to deal with it.  I got a new boss one time, after having changed bosses 3 times in the past 12 months.  I didn’t even realize how done with new bosses I was.  That is, I didn’t realize it until one of my employees said to me, “For someone who knows so much about change, you sure don’t handle it very well.”  She was right.  I wasn’t handling it well.  My capacity to deal with change had been used up and I was on the resistance end of the continuum.  My employee did me a favor.  I didn’t really realize how much my fed-up-ness was showing until she said that.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put yourself in that new employee mindset?  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to try to think like someone new to the organization (while at the same time bringing all your organization skill, knowledge and abilities to the table)?  Whenever I become aware that I’m in ‘resisting’ mode, I remind myself–if I had just started today, I wouldn’t think about all the reasons this is a stupid idea–I would just accept it and do it.

Try it.  It helps.

Note:  I am not saying that you should blindly follow without contributing opinions and constructive criticism.  Just be sure that that is what you’re doing though, and not resistance.  Resistance is a normal reaction, but it isn’t helpful to your career, so learn to manage it.


Filed under Career Development, Executive Development, Leadership, Success

2 responses to “Manage Your Resistance

  1. Helpful reminder, thanks Jo.

  2. Pingback: Personal Change Management | JoMcDermott

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