Communication 101 – Dealing with Resistance

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Communication 101 – Dealing with Resistance

So often we find ourselves in meetings or situations where, despite our best intentions and best efforts, our message just doesn’t seem to land the desired impact!

Why is that?

What is it that causes people to reject what we are trying to say or do?

Often the challenge we face is less about rejection and more about resistance. So in simple terms – it’s not necessarily as much about you as it is about them!

Understanding more about the other person/people involved is of paramount importance to getting your message across and perhaps more fundamentally, inspiring the kind of action you are hoping to drive!

What causes Resistance? 

  • Fear of change  
  • Lack of trust
  • Risk involved
  • Bad experiences
  • Assumptions/Beliefs
  • Lack of knowledge/information

People can have any number of reasons as to why they might be push back.

Consider what you know about the person already to pre-empt what they might be feeling ahead of the meeting. What might get in the way of them listening openly to what you have to say?

When we understand the possible reasons for resistance, we are in a better position to frame our message in a way that helps them to overcome that resistance and replacing it with enthusiasm, ambition and determination.

Many people dislike change – it’s new, it’s unknown and it is natural to fear what we don’t know. In delivering your message, consider how you can frame it in a way that addresses that fear of change and replacing it with a feeling of reassurance and safety!

Trust forms a huge part of getting people’s buy in and the level of trust you have with someone will depend on your relationship with them, as well as the experiences from the past.

People can often carry over mistrust from pas experiences and apply it to future scenarios. They can also harbour assumptions/incorrect beliefs which can get in the way of them accepting a new idea/way of doing things.

Consider on a scale of 1-10 where you sit in terms of their trust.

What can you do to instil the trust they need in order to ensure they are ready to embrace a new challenge or change?

By understanding the causes of resistance …we take the first fundamental steps towards challenging resistance in a positive way and communicating our message with impact to inspire that all important action that’s needed to achieve our goals!

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