One of our go to coaching phrases is “Resistance is your ally”.
We love it because it’s true – and because it’s counterintuitive.
No one intuitively thinks that resistance to their opinion, leadership, point of view, way of being, is friendly. Our default response is to treat resistance as an enemy force and seek to outwit or vanquish it.
But in doing so we miss a real opportunity. An opportunity to grow in our understanding of self and others. And an opportunity to explore new ways of leading that may end up working a lot better. We find it really helpful to remember these four things about resistance:
- Resistance is an inevitable part of change.
- Progress without resistance is impossible – or the progress isn’t worth the effort.
- People resist what they perceive to be costly or harmful.
- Resistance offers us a really good opportunity to look underneath the surface at what is really going on at the moment in the relationship, organization, or team. And – perhaps most importantly – in ourselves!