Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Communication Management/Addressing Resistance/Identifying resistance

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A significant cause of message/communication distortion or conflict can be attributed to a team member’s resistance to change.   Many people support change when they believe that their needs are not being met or when change will help them avoid a harmful situation. Even when team members support change, change is often difficult to accept. Many people would rather uphold the status quo—the world they know and understand—than to jump into the unknown, which a change environment always entails. In what follows, we address resistance in order to assist you in leading your team members through it.

Active Resistance •Being critical •Blaming •Appealing to fear •Ridiculing •Sabotaging •Manipulating •Distorting facts •Starting Rumors •Arguing   Passive Resistance   •Agreeing verbally, but not following through •Failing to implement change •Procrastinating •Feigning (pretending) ignorance •Withholding information, suggestions, help, or support •Standing by and allowing the change to fail  

People who are actively resisting change tend to be defiant, critical and prone to attempts at evoking fear in others. Furthermore, they are likely to be argumentative, to start rumors or to distort facts.  In contrast, passive resisters will not be confrontational. Rather, they will show agreement publicly, but fail to implement change by procrastinating or withholding important information. In addition, passive resistance involves feigning ignorance of new policies or watching change fail when they have the power and skills to provide assistance. Guidelines for Addressing the belief that the project (or action) has been handled Improperly Guidelines for Addressing the Belief that the project (or action) will fail

See also  Malicious Obedience - analyzing potential stakeholder resistance.