Let’s talk about Resistance: A conversation with Rick Maurer


I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Rick Maurer one-on-one this week.   He is the pioneer of facilitating the open discussions we can now have about Resistance.  During our conversation he shared some of his personal evolution to becoming the Resistance Guru.

Rick not only shared his thinking with me, but allowed me to bounce some of my current thinking off of him.  I enjoyed the compare and contrast – the open dialog.

For those of you who don’t know who Rick is, here’s extract from his bio: “Rick Maurer, a renowned change management expert, speaker and bestselling author, educates audiences on how to get results from major change without headaches, cost overruns, and hidden problems…or Change Without Migraines™.”  Click here to get to the full bio and web-site.

Rick broke down the way he thinks about resistance and change into four groups:

  1. Knowing – Do you know what to do
  2. Doing – Practicing what you need to do
  3. Hidden Commitments
  4. Hidden Beliefs/Culture

To my way of thinking, the first two are easy to discuss.  Everyone is willing to talk about them.  The greater challenge is in the last two.

One of the insightful statements he made was when you understand why people resist, you can understand why they support.  Rick used the visual of a person leaning in or leaning out during a conversation about support.  Me, I’ve almost always leaned in.  I am insatiably curious and have a genuine interest in others as individuals – their thoughts, desires, and goals.  I wonder how often we actually talk about what makes people support projects to change themselves or their actions?

I think that there are a myriad of elephants hidden in those last two.  What are the underlying beliefs that are causing resistance?  Until we can deal with them more overtly, change initiatives will continue to fail at the alarming rate that they do.

As for myself, I’m going to be talking about those elephants.  I hope that you will too.

If you aren’t feeling like it or are concerned about doing so, I challenge you to ask yourself where the resistance is coming from.  Take a look at the four groups above.  See what you might discover about yourself.  Good luck!

Comments are closed.

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes