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Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is natural and inevitable.

Turning a blind eye to resistance is a great temptation, but recognition is the first step in addressing and defusing it. As we just witnessed in Washington D.C., ignoring a growing resistance to change has consequences.

In our personal lives, resistance may lead to overconsuming, postponing or ignoring destructive behavior. In our projects, resistance may result in delayed implementation, increased cost or scope expansion and lack of adoption.

Project leaders who are skilled in organizational change management, plan for resistance and develop strategies and tactics which are incorporated into the change management plan.

How do you know when you’re seeing resistance rising?

When you hear “Why are we doing this?” you’re hearing resistance.
The “Why” question must be answered in multiple ways and multiple times. Addressing “why” in every communication is important. There is a deep human need to understand and if we don’t respect the need to understand, people may fail to adopt change.

Change resistance can be seen as stubbornness or refusal to move forward with the change.

There are generally four types of responses that show up as resistance. While not all individuals fit neatly into a single type, much of the resistance you will encounter will show up in one of these behavior types:


Creating space, planning for and addressing resistance throughout the change initiative supports end users, stakeholders and sponsors with the complex and difficult task of adopting change.

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Guru’s in Organizational Culture both in 2021 & 2022, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide".  Contact her at [email protected]