Solid Advice on 4 Ways to Handle Change Resisters

The outline of a deadman on the pavement entitled "Resisted Change"

This graphic is a rather grim illustration of how some resisters of change are handled. Fortunately change management consulting experts have a far less drastic and far more effective change management process to recommend for those holdouts on your team who continue to resist organizational change.

Let’s start by acknowledging that organizational change is never easy for change leaders or followers. Far too many of us are apt to prefer the status quo…it’s known and predictable. But in today’s world, if you are going to thrive, and often just survive, you need to be flexible and adapt well to change.

Of course, there are ways to effect change that sticks. You need to be able to articulate the rationale behind the change in a convincing way; you need to get buy-in from the top on down; you need to paint the picture of how the change will be enacted and how it will affect each employee; you have to be patient as employees make tentative moves in the right direction; and you have to monitor and coach the desired behaviors all along the way.

Assuming you have done the organizational change basics “right,” there will still be those who resist. With over twenty years in the change management consulting field, we can offer solid advice on how to handle the naysayers.

  1. Don’t take it personally.
    Recognize that they are not necessarily trying to work against you personally; they just aren’t yet won over by the need for change and don’t yet see what’s in it for them.
  2. Seek first to understand.
    Openly listen to reasons for resistance and deal with them one-by-one in an objective and compassionate way. Avoid getting angry and frustrated. That will only give change resisters an excuse for digging in their heels deeper. Explain that the change will occur, and that it is in the best interests of the company and the team as a whole. Describe the specific negative behaviors you have noticed and how it impacts the team’s ability to move forward. Be clear that you expect them to make a concerted effort to improve. Your job as leader is to guide the team forward. You need each and every team member to adopt and adapt to the team values.
  3. Have empathy for their situation.
    Change resisters may be fearful that there will be no place for them in the “new” order or that they will lose influence. Listen carefully and compassionately. Provide straightforward and honest answers.
  4. Look forward.
    Work together to find a way your resister can get realigned and be a part of the company’s future. This should be a cooperative effort with both offering suggestions and agreeing upon a timeline of progress toward practicing the new behaviors that are required.

This will be one of those difficult conversations that many leaders and managers avoid. But it is necessary. Most change resisters will adjust, albeit more slowly than the rest. But if they are not cooperative, you need to help them move on. They cannot continue to be on the team; their negative pull will drag the whole team down.

Work with change resisters to help them understand and appreciate why the changes are necessary and what you expect from them.

Read About How to Successfully Recognize and Reward Organizational Change

Comments are closed.

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More