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Dealing with resistance at work

Resistance is a common phenomenon. Whether it is at work, in personal relationships or when pursuing personal goals; we all encounter resistance from time to time. But what exactly is resistance and how can we deal with it? This can be different for each DISC behavioural style.

Resistance is people’s reaction to changes, ideas, or situations they perceive as threatening or uncomfortable. It can manifest as reluctance or unwillingness to change. Understanding why resistance occurs and how to deal with it is essential for personal and professional growth. However, this can be different for everyone.

What is resistance?

Resistance can be described as a natural reaction to change. People often feel comfortable with the status quo and change can disrupt this comfort zone. It affects some people faster than others. It can occur in different situations, such as in organisations where new procedures are being implemented, in relationships where disagreements occur or even within individuals struggling with personal change.

DISC styles and resistance

Each behavioural style has different characteristics and preferences when it comes to communicating with others. So how these styles deal with resistance can also vary.

People with a dominant style are assertive and result-oriented. They tend to tackle resistance head-on and strive for immediate solutions. They respond best to facts and logic, and avoiding wasting time is of great importance to them. Thus, they prefer to sweep unnecessary resistance off the table immediately.

The influential style focuses on relationships and creating a positive atmosphere; they want to keep things cosy. Resistance does not fit into this picture and so they prefer to avoid it. When people with this style approach resistance, they do it best with by motivating someone and emphasising the benefits of change.

The green DISC style values stability and harmony in their environment. They may perceive resistance as threatening to this harmony. So they prefer to avoid this, especially in groups. But when they approach resistance, they do this one-on-one with understanding and patience to ease the concerns and reassure the other person.

People with the blue behavioural style are precise and structured. They may experience resistance due to concerns about the impact of change on existing systems. Providing detailed information and showing a planned approach can alleviate their concerns.

Overcoming resistance

Overcoming resistance requires communication, empathy, and patience. In doing so, it is therefore very useful to also look at the different preferred communication styles.

Here are some tips that might help:

  • Listen to people’s concerns and acknowledge their feelings.
  • Explore the underlying emotion.
  • Communicate the reasons behind the change and its benefits clearly.
  • Involve people in the change process through participation.
  • Offer support to help people to adapt to the change.

Dealing with resistance

In short, resistance is a natural reaction to change, but it can be overcome through understanding, communication and commitment. By taking the different DISC styles into account and applying appropriate strategies, we can effectively deal with resistance and encourage positive change.

FAQs about resistance and DISC

How to best deal with resistance?

Communication, empathy, and patience are key. Here are some other tips:
Actively listen to the other person and acknowledge their feelings.
Explore the underlying reason or emotion.
Communicate clearly the ‘why’ behind the change and discuss the benefits.
Involve people in the change process.
Offer support.

What if people continue to be resistant, despite my efforts?

It is important to remain patient and try different approaches. Sometimes resistance just needs time to be overcome.

Can resistance also be positive?

Yes, resistance can lead to in-depth discussions, which can lead to improvements in plans or decisions!

Are certain DISC styles better at dealing with resistance than others?

Each of the DISC styles has its strengths when it comes to dealing with resistance. It depends on the context and the approach that is used.