How to Identify and Overcome Different Types of Resistance to Change
Overcoming resistance to change is one of the most important aspects of difficult change. Unfortunately, until recently we did not have access to some of the most critical related knowledge and as a result, resistance to change often remained misunderstood. New science sheds light on this important change factor, making it possible for us to identify previously invisible types of resistance and overcome them.
Resistance to change is not one thing. Like the iceberg model, much more of resistance is invisible under water than is seen on the surface. We learned a lot about what is going on in the submerged part of the iceberg over the years and developed effective communication, transparency, and inclusion strategies to remove some of the related obstacles. However, having very little access to how the brain works before, there were some aspects of resistance to change we didn't know how to address. Those aspects remained invisible and silently sabotaged our ability to support people to adopt needed changes and achieve desired outcomes.
Perhaps the most important new insights we have in this area thanks to recent scientific findings are:
The fact there are additional causes of resistance to change.
The difference between Internal Resistance and External Resistance.
The purpose different types of resistance serve and why it's important.
Additional causes of resistance to change: Not all types of change trigger resistance in the same way and different people respond to the discomfort of change in different ways. We all constantly make changes in life with very little resistance and some people smoothly adjust even to the most difficult change. This is because, in addition to everything we learned in the past about fearing the unknown and trying to avoid threats, resistance to change has two more critical sources:
The preexisting level of skills or abilities of each individual to cope with discomfort.
Understanding these additional source of resistance makes it possible to better support change acquisition. We already knew the importance of effective