Resistance occurs when some apparent difference arises between what you want and what someone else wants. The other person or group will demonstrate “resistance” to oppose what they perceive as a direction they do not wish to go. The mistake would be to “resist resistance” — that is, to react to their resistance as if to say “wait, you really do want what I want … let me explain….” What works better? Acknowledge their apparent resistance and work with it. Use it to find a way to reach your goal that would work for both of you.
Websters’ dictionary defines resistance as “forces opposing,” but interpersonal resistance would be better defined as “feedback” or as “evidence that we’re not on the same page” — that there’s information missing. Although it is human nature to courageously meet opposition head on (or, for some, to wisely shy away from confrontation hoping it ends up becoming a non-issue), a better approach is to move with and understand what is at root cause of this supposed opposition. What, exactly, is their concern? Then, and only then, can resistance become useful as a tool for learning something you may not have known, as a way to understand how this person thinks, as a way to get where you’re going that includes the other person’s needs and wants.
Or in sales, for the customer to get where they’re going in a way that includes your offer, product, or service. Doesn’t always work out that way, but it is certainly better to know where you stand. That is the point of choice. Choice is always better than no choice.
- Six Keys to Handling Resistance
- Rapport: The Link to Gaining Cooperation
- The Reactionary Tango: Turning Opposition to Understanding through Aikido
- Seven Attitudes to Dissolve Conflicts
Relevant Skills or Coursework:
- All negotiation and conflict resolution skills
- Separating interpretations from observable facts
- Healthy boundaries and walking the line between assertive and aggressive
Short presentation available? Yes; Length: 1-2 hrs.