If there’s one sentence that sums up the message of Red Zone/Blue Zone it’s this one:
Resistance is your ally.
Doesn’t sound quite right, does it?
So, let’s get under the hood…
Call it what you will – resistance, pushback, challenge, opposition – it’s basically an opposing force that slows or stops movement. Anyone in leadership will come to expect resistance, sooner or later.
It’s important to NOT be surprised when resistance happens. As a matter of fact, it is an element in the process that should be welcomed – IF you learn the skill of handling it correctly.
All of us resist at times. It’s a way of protecting ourselves from real or perceived danger, most notably when change is unfolding. In and of itself, resistance is not a bad thing. It’s merely energy and if we can redirect that energy in a positive way we can move it in the direction of change.
The first signal that resistance sends to my mind is “I don’t like this change”. The second signal is “OK, I can tolerate some change but you are going too fast here!”.
As with all signals, it’s important to pay attention to their cause. When a shrill smoke detector awakens me from a dead sleep I can cry out “Stupid smoke detector!” and rip it off of the wall. Or I can try to figure out what the signal means. If there’s a fire, I surely want to know about it so that I can act accordingly.
Resistance tends to signal issues that are lurking underneath the surface and are tapping into our most deeply-held values. That’s one of the great benefits of resistance. We’ll say more about how to recognize and deal with these issues later this week.
For now, it’s enough to dwell on the possibility that resistance may not be your enemy, but in fact your friend!