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Resistance to Change

  • Date Submitted: 01/17/2013 12:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.3 
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Resistance to change

What is resistance to change in your workplace and how does it manifest itself? Resistance to change is the act of opposing or struggling with modifications or transformations that alter the status quo in the workplace.

Managing resistance to change is challenging. Resistance to change can be covert or overt, organized or individual. People can realize that they don't like or want a change and resist publicly and verbally. Or, they can just feel uncomfortable and resist, sometimes unknowingly, through the actions they take, the words they use to describe the change, and the stories and conversations they share in the workplace.

However resistance to change happens, it threatens the success of your venture. Resistance affects the speed at which an innovation is adopted. It affects the feelings and opinions of people at all stages of the adoption process. It affects productivity, quality, and relationships.

How do you spot resistance to change? Listen to the gossip and observe the actions of your people. Note whether people are missing meetings related to the change. Late assignments, forgotten commitments, and absenteeism can all be signs of resistance to change. Something as simple as listening to how people talk about the change in meetings and hall conversations can tell you a lot about resistance.

Some people will publicly challenge the change, the need for the change, or how the change is unfolding. The more powerful the resisting people, in terms of job title, position, and longevity, the more success he or she will have with resistance. Less well-positioned people may resist collectively through organizations such as a union.

Resistance to change appears in action such as verbal criticism, nitpicking details, failure to adopt, snide comments, sarcastic remarks, missed meetings, failed commitments, interminable arguments, lack of support verbally, and outright sabotage.

Resistance to change can intensify if...


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