Tuesday Tip by Tuesday Tip by Ross Vera, Consultant/Trainer

Don’t Let a Team Member’s Resistance Define the Entire Person

Last week I had the pleasure of leading one of my favorite Pride Leadership Courses, The Motivating Leader. It is the second workshop in a series of four held at Pride Institute for Master Track clients. I love this course because it has lots of psychology, motivation and coaching, along with some very important formal motivational tools such as the Pride Compensation Model and Growth Conferences.

Our Tuesday Tip for this week arose during the “Change Resistance” portion of our session. Several dentists attending came from practices with 20-35 team members which offered a rich well of examples of change resistance! So much fun!! In recounting the change resistance challenge presented by one team member, a very intuitive and thoughtful dentist couldn’t help being extremely preoccupied with the fact that an employee could be so very resistant to the meaningful change the doctors were trying to implement. Our Tuesday Tip today is “Don’t Let a Team Member’s Resistance Define the Entire Person.”

We see this type of response routinely. The doctor is frustrated and experiences an employee’s behavior as obstructionist and uncooperative. Understandable, but how productive is this disposition? Not very. Some basic assumptions and approaches can make a big difference here. First get curious. Why would a person act against their own self interest and refuse to march in the direction you have led the team? Now investigate or ask! It is usually due to some combination of anxiety, unfamiliarity, confusion, and maybe…. just maybe, you haven’t been clear about what you want, why you want it, and how the team is equipped to get there. Lots of stuff, I know. And to elaborate appropriately, attend the course! But for our purposes, be honest with your team about what you are observing and be open to their responses. If that can be achieved, you will have a path forward. For some, it’s baby steps. But baby steps will yield to more engaged change as you foster trust in your team. It requires patience, but that’s better than taking gripes home to your loved ones every night, right? As we teach in the course, change is a predictable process, with a predictable arc. Almost every “resistant” team member can be guided through this process. Each has her or his own mix of hopes, fears and gifts that will affect the end result. We are always here to help!!

Originally posted on Facebook: February 27, 2018

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