Making Change Happen Through Managing Resistance – Introduction

Making Change Happen Through Managing Resistance – Introduction

You recognise that sinking feeling. You’re under pressure to drive better results with a team who are already stretched thin, and now you need to ask them to work in a different way.

Leading change can be an minefield; managing those who resist change is one of your greatest challenges.

People resist change for all kinds of reasons. Humans instinctively crave stability, belonging and certainty. It helps us feel safe and secure in the world when we know our place in it, what’s expected of us and how to respond.

The latest neuroscientific research suggests that uncertainty or volatility sets off an involuntary response most commonly associated with a physical threat – a fight or flight reaction. No wonder the mere suggestion of  change brings out a subconscious response in your team to “resist change at all costs and support the status quo!”

This perfectly natural human response gives rise to various expressions of resistance within your team. As a change leader, it’s critical to be able to identify and address these attitudes early and often during the change process.

Five ways people resist change

Part of managing resistance effectively is helping others get excited about change and become comfortable in a constantly disrupted environment . In order to do this, we need to understand how people perceive change and why they resist it. We can only counter people’s anxieties and resistance if you fully understand where they come from.

To help you identify and address how resistance might manifest in your team, starting on Tuesday, 19 February 2019, we’re publishing a series of articles that explore each of these resistant attitudes in more detail.

In this series, we’ll explore the different ways resistance to change may manifest in your team and provide scenarios to help you effectively navigate them.

We’ve identified five ways in which your team might react to change, indicating possible resistance:

When Silence is not Golden





managing resistance change leadership series the terrace initiative

Is there such a thing as too many questions?





Managing Resistance The Terrace Initiative Change Leadership Series

Stonewalling: Breaking through a defensive barrier





The Terrace Initiative Managing Resistance

Undermining – Dealing with difficult people




Avoiding – coming soon!

Each article will provide you with real life scenario to help you identify it more easily when confronted by that type of resistance. In each scenario, there will be a number of ways you might respond to your team member, we explore each of those and offer an alternative way to address each in a way that promotes the best results for your employees in assisting them to embrace the change.

We also delve into the important question: “why people react the way they do”.

Guiding your teams from resisting to embracing change

Our Change Leadership Series of articles will demonstrate how you can identify and overcome each type of resistance to change. While each article explores a single aspect of resistance, in reality we recommend taking an integrated approach to managing change.

By taking a deep and intimate approach to understanding our clients’ worlds, we help leaders break down each of the resistance barriers so that they can effectively guide their teams towards embracing change.

We have had tremendous results with organisations who implement transformation projects within industries which typically favour inertia. Through our change leadership program, we use a holistic approach to identify roadblocks and foster collaboration, open communication and a willingness to see solutions through innovation and transformation.

Article by Ellie Pietsch and Natasha David


If you’d like to develop your change leadership skills or find out more about managing resistance to change in your team, please contact