3 Types of Resistance to Change

Overcoming resistance to change is one of the most important aspects of difficult change. For most changes, resistance is a direct obstacle or an invisible undercurrent that needs to be successfully supported and managed if desired outcomes are to be achieved. But resistance to change is not one thing. Why Should We Group Resistance Types According to Cause? The cause of resistance to change tells us how we need to support people to overcome it. For example, if we know that certain, progress-blocking, resistance to change is a result of fear, we should do our best to minimize fear. Thanks to new research in recent years, we now know that fear is one of at least 3 causes for resistance that w

Identifying and Overcoming Invisible Resistance to Change

It is easy to think of responses like avoidance, argumentativeness, dismissiveness, defensiveness, defiance, apathy, impulsiveness, and manipulation as resistance to change. However, additional blocking responses are often missed. A Better Understanding of Resistance to Change Before we knew more about the way the brain works and why people resist change, we understood that resistance to change comes up as a result of fear of the unknown, loss of control, and other aspects of the change itself that may minimize our autonomy. We understood that changes to aspects like our environment conditions, processes, work structure, or what is expected of us, will likely result in resistance because peo

The Neuroscience of Resistance to Change

Traditionally we define resistance to change as actions or inactions, overt or covert, to oppose, block, or minimize the impact of a perceived threat or loss of value. With this definition in mind, traditional change efforts focus on trying to minimize discomfort and increase clarity by establishing greater: Trust Transparency and effective communication Involvement and engagement A Partial Definition While trust, effective communication, and engagement create a valuable foundation and support overcoming a wide range of resistance to change, other types of resistance to change are missed under a traditional definition. Past definitions are based on years of experience and are very relevant,

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