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Stop 3: Organizational Change Management Process and Tools

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Now that we know how to identify resistance, let’s look at how to develop strategies to overcome it. Your Resistance Strategy should contain several components.


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Use a “top-down” path for determining your resistance strategy. Begin your resistance plan with strategy #1: Education and Communication. Move sequentially down the list based on the amount of resistance.


Remember; the more force you use, the more you can cause resistance. People do not like to be forced to do anything!


Take a moment to think about these questions:


  1. How do you know when and what to adjust in your Change Management Plan?
  2. What are some of the signs of change resistance?
  3. What are some strategies that you will use to manage change resistance?

Developing a Resistance Strategy

Resistance Strategy Best Practices

Strategy #1

Strategy #2

Strategy #3

Strategy #4

Strategy #5

Resistance Strategy #1: Education/Communication

Communicate early and often. Educate your stakeholders about the benefits of the change:


  • People need to buy into the rationale for the change.
  • People come around when they realize the change is needed and how they fit in.
  • If new skills are required to implement this change, provide continuing education.



Resistance Strategy #2: Participation and Trust

To garner participation and trust, do the following:


  • Spend time working with people.
  • Listen and build trust.
  • Get people involved.

Resistance Strategy #3: Negotiation and Agreement

When you negotiate for change, try to stay objective and rational. Seek to understand what it would take to gain acceptance.


The following are different types of negotiation outcomes:


  • Win-Lose – one party gets what they want while the other gives up something
  • Win-Win – both parties feel they got what they needed in an agreement
  • Lose-Lose – both parties lose something to come to an agreement
  • Collaborative – creative and friendly, both parties work together to make an agreement
  • Bad Faith – a party makes a commitment with no intention of keeping it


Strive for a win-win outcome!

Resistance Strategy #4: Persuasion

Make a compelling case for the change. Here is your opportunity to present your argument and develop buy-in. Know that this may only be effective in the short term.

Persuasion tactics include the following:


  • Reciprocity – if you help me, I will help you
  • Commitment and Consistency – the power of mindset; once people state the goal out loud, they are more committed to completing it
  • Social Proof – strength in numbers; more people jump on board if their friends/peers do; show them others are joining in (recall back to the first follower of Dancing Guy from the video in Stop 2)
  • Liking – be my friend or be like me; people buy things from people they know and trust
  • Authority – yes sir/ma’am; respect authority and do what authority tells you
  • Scarcity – fear of loss or missing out

Resistance Strategy #5: Power Position

Even more extreme than subtle manipulation or persuasion is using the power position:


  • If you or a powerful sponsor has the authority, you may be able to simply tell the stakeholders to support your efforts.
  • Confront the person and make overt threats (e.g., if non-compliant he or she will lose their job).


Try not to force people to change. This should be the last resort!

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