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Saturday, October 11, 2014


Resistance is the phenomena of holding something back. Ways it manifests itself are through non-compliance, through argument, through diversion, through lack of acceptance, or even through downright defiance or hostility.

I have seen resistance to my efforts/thinking as a family member, as a church member, as a faculty member, as a teacher, as a coach, as a principal, as a professor, as a superintendent, and as a rancher (yep, even from animals).  I suspect you have encountered resistance, too, in one form or another.  Or, many.

What might be some useful strategies in dealing with resistance?  Here are a few I think worth considering:

  • Consider the possibility that my goal/objective/directive is actually wrong or fool hardy.  It could happen.  And, it ought to be considered.
  • Consider the possibility that I have not communicated clearly.  Have I been as clear about the "why" as I have about the "what" and the "how"?  If others don't know or understand the "why," it's probably not happening.
  • Consider the possibility that I failed to invite others into the decision (when time and the nature of the situation allows).  Did I garner and/or consider many perspectives before moving ahead with my resistance-creating decision?
  • Consider the possibility that fear or discomfort or lack of confidence  or loss (of some kind) is the catalyst for the resistance I am experiencing.  Knowing that these phenomena are common resistance generators, have I painted a clear picture about the risks and benefits to be anticipated?  
  • Consider the possibility that the resistance comes from suspicions about my motives.  Have I articulated well the fact that pursuit of my goal is about US, not about me?  Either consciously or subconsciously, others are assessing my motives.  It is wise for me to thoroughly go through the same process.
The effectiveness of leaders (in whatever role) and 
the enthusiasm of followers (in whatever form) 
depend greatly on the ability to anticipate and deal with resistance.

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