Overcoming Resistance by Stealth

You may run across somebody who is resisting making a change they’ve been asked to, and is expressing their resistance either overtly or passively.  In deciding how to deal with it, consider whether or not the resistance can be overcome by “stealth”. 

When the community around the resister adopts the change and starts applying the new process, the resister starts to stand out in the crowd.  And, not necessarily in a positive way.  Your change agents are actually your secret weapon in stealth mode.  The more influential your change agents are, the sooner the resister becomes obvious.

Most often, an individual will recognize that they’re putting their standing in the organization at risk when their behavior isn’t aligned with their peers and managers, and will make the choice to adopt the change on their own.

When the resister is a manager and their own subordinates feel positively about the change and want to be aligned the organization, hopefully the manager will also recognize that they’re putting their subordinates at risk when they won’t allow them to adopt the change. Another reason for the resister to change; to nurture the future of their employees.

Overcoming resistance by stealth may not work when you don’t have enough time for the natural consequences and flow of change to ultimately deal with the resister.  But when you do have enough time, it can be a positive way to influence somebody to adopt the change — the change becomes something the person chooses to adopt.

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