ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mustapha, Chin Ho & Overcoming Resistance

Updated on November 4, 2012

Mustapha, Chin Ho & Overcoming resistance

Mustapha is a senior manager in a refinery who is responsible for the implementation of a business improvement program. The program has just started recently and those directly involved in the programme seemed to be enthusiastic about the effort. However, others who are not directly involved in the deployment are understandbly ambivalent, some are overtly resistant while others could be covertly resistant. He’s heard some corridor comments like “This is the latest fad from management. Let’s just get it over with”, or “Don’t see how this project is going to benefit me or my work.” Mustapha’s been thinking about how to get the rest of the organization engaged with the effort, support it and even get excited over it. And how do I deal with these people who are resisting. How to do this? he mulled…

Meanwhile, Chin Ho who is doing some work on employee training at the refinery happen to bump into Mustapaha at the cafeteria one day. “Fancy meeting you here, Mustapha! Can I buy you a drink? Bandung (a pink-colored local drink) or lime juice? Or do you prefer the usual kopi? (local name for coffee)

“Ahh..Chin Ho. Nice to see you again. Let’s have a drink. I’ll have the bandung today lah. It’s quite a warm day.”

“Ok, one bandung for you and one kopi for me coming right up”.

A few moments later, sipping on their drinks, Chin Ho asked “So, Mustapha, how is the programme implementation coming along?”

“Well, it’s going ok but it can be even better. I’ve been thinking of how to deal with the resistance and lack of engagement by the wider community in the refinery, those not directly involved in the implementation, but could be impacted by it. We have communicated about the program refinery wide but I see there is resistance in certain departments and sections.”

Chin Ho, who happen to be an organizational effectiveness consultant said “Well, Mustapha, about resistance - you may be aware that resistance is a natural human reaction when people are faced with change. Our natural tendency is to resist or hold back when faced with the unknown or something new. Consider this – don’t see resistance as resistance per se. Instead of calling it resistance, call it an emotional reaction to change. When we say resist, what are the signs? E.g.s Comments made by people, not offering to help or supporting the effort. People may not intentionally want to stop the effort or block it – they’re just uncomfortable and say things that does not necessarily mean they are against the effort.”

“Hmm… I see” nodded Mustapha. “Go on.”

“I’ll offer you a way to look at emotional reaction to change – there’s the emotional change curve, but I can show it to you later. Fundamentally, at the individual level, psychologists have found out that there are 2 questions you need to answer if you are to influence people to change:

1. Is it worth it?

This addresses why I should change and if I were to change, is it worth it for me to do so? It addresses individual motivation.

2. Can I do it? This says, if I were to change, will I be able to do it? This addresses individual skill.

Now, in the case of your program, if the people who are impacted does not have learn new skills, then you don’t need to pay much attention to question 2. However, don’t forget that behaviors are also skills. if they need to learn new behaviors (e.g. taking initiative, being more proactive, sharing information, working across departments, working as a team) as a result of implementing the program, then you do need to see how to answer question 2”.

“There are many ways to address question 1, and there is no one size fits all solution. There needs to be engagement to better find out what motivates people, what their concerns are. One way for you to do that, which I can share here is better communication. Yes there has been the normal communication through official channels, but look also for informal communication channels. Find ways to break any communication barriers, to get 2 way communication flowing. You could tap on a network of people within the ranks to get feedback. Find ways to create an informal atmosphere to break the ice where people feel comfortable talking and sharing. For example, have lunch or games to break the ice and help build trust between say people on the project and those impacted by it. Once people start talking, they will feel involved and there is also greater tendency to cooperate”.

Chin Ho was on a roll now. He went on “In communicating effectively, don’t underestimate the power of non-verbal actions. The people implementing the program have to be good role model and demonstrate the right behaviors. It will be good for leaders like yourself to walk the grounds and talk to people – besides giving you first hand feel of how things are being received, you also demonstrate interest and commitment to the success of the programme.”

Mustapha took all this in, listening intently while rubbing the stubble on his chin. “Good points Chin Ho. That really helped me gain better depth about communication and how to better communicate with others through the program. That was really helpful. Thanks!”

“My pleasure. There are many other things we could look at to help make this change successful and sustainable. This is just one of many ideas that can be worked on. I’ll drop by your office later if you like with the emotional change curve”.

“Oh yes. Please do, and thanks for the bandung. I think I’ll really benefit from having you on my team, Chin Ho. We should get together again, my treat next time.

“Sure, just talk to my manager or your account manager to see how I can help you with your program. Since it’s your treat the next time. I’ll order an extra large cup of kopi!”

PS: To find out more about influencing change, check out the book Influencer: The power to change anything by Kerry Paterson et al. Highly recommended.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)