How to Deal With Those Who Resist Your Project

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Josh Nankivel 7 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #158490

    Bill Brantley

    I love showing this video in my management classes:

    Do you agree with Kotter? What are your methods for dealing with the “No-Nos?”

  • #158502

    Josh Nankivel

    First, it’s a bit too much of a blanket statement I think. You can’t apply something like this as a criteria for all people and situations.

    Second, I’ve had very few experiences where people were ‘hopeless’ – it happens, and sometimes it means I fire them. If you are decent at influencing people because they trust you, see the benefits of the change, etc. I find that it’s very seldom you run into folks who are completely unwilling to change.

  • #158500

    Scott Span

    People who are more resistant to change than others will always exist – it’s a fact of life. How you handle it should be situational, no a one size fits all. That said, in managing change, one thing I always make sure to do is – acknowledge the resisters. I find a Gestalt approach valuable. “All resistance is mobilization of energy, not lack of energy…those who reist are bundles of energy, not lifeless passive blobs” -Edwin Nevis. The energy of “No-Nos” can be harnessed for the benifit of the project.

  • #158498

    Bill Brantley

    Thank you Josh and Scott! Now, let’s turn this around a bit: how do you deal with those who actively sabotage your project so that they can make you fail? You need their support but you are not going to get it.

  • #158496

    Peter Sperry

    At a certain point, you eather have senior executive backing or you do not. If you do, have a discussion with the senior executive and ask them to lay down the law. If they decline, you just learned that you really never had thier backing in the first place. Time to start winding down the project or put it on hold.

  • #158494

    Jay Johnson

    I’m a fan of Kotter, we use his Change Model at my org with good results. His thoughts on No-No’s though (also covered in his book Sense of Urgency) do seem overly simplied. How and why people resist change are complex as is how to handle them.

    I like what Scott said about the potential energy of a skeptic. Reminds me of a blog post a friend of mine recently wrote:

  • #158492

    Bill Brantley

    I’m a fan of Kotter too and especially love his book Buy-In which seems to contradict his above advice.Thanks for the mention of your friend’s posting.

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