Coaching People Who Resist Change

There are a million reasons to stay the same, when you feel pressure to change. In my opinion change is great as long as someone else is doing it.

Resistance is the point of potential growth. Consider a plant pushing through the soil in search of sunlight.

the point of resistance is where fruit waits to emerge.png

Exponential growth always encounters resistance.

7 sources of resistance:

  1. Lack of confidence: Resistance corresponds to unbelief. When you don’t believe in yourself, you resist making changes. Who wants to try when failure seems inevitable?
  2. Arrogance: “I don’t need to change. Others have the problem.”
  3. Bitterness: “I haven’t been treated right so I’m not going along with your plan.”
  4. Lack of passion: It’s not important.
  5. Negative history: “I’ve tried before and it didn’t work.”
  6. Defeatism: What’s the use.
  7. Fear of failure: “I’ll be embarrassed if I try and fail.”

Coaching through resistance:

The point of resistance is where fruit appears.

Listen don’t judge:

  1. Listening validates value. When you listen to someone, you tell them their journey matters.
  2. Listening restores humanity. Organizational life is often filled with instructions and directives that treat people like robots. “Just do what you’re told.” The more you tell people what to do the less human they feel.
  3. Listening allows exploration. You can’t solve another’s resistance. They must explore and solve it themselves.

Question don’t solve:

  1. If you took a step forward, what would it look like?
  2. What’s important about not moving forward?
  3. What’s important about moving forward?
  4. What imperfect behavior would you like to try?
  5. What’s important about keeping things the same?
  6. How might you keep things the same and try something new?
  7. What happens if you do nothing?
  8. What would you like me to ask you the next time we meet?
  9. What obstacles have you overcome in the past? How might that apply here?
  10. Who might be helpful?

What are some sources of resistance?

How might leaders coach people through resistance?