Do you have a few people, or maybe just one, in your organization that cause(s) people to warn others of their presence?
“Watch out for ___ (s)he always does ___”
Every single initiative I have been on has one of those people. It is fun to count the number of stakeholders that come to warn me about certain individuals (the record so far is 6 people quietly warning me about the same person). Can you imagine being that person who has a forewarning wave that precedes their arrival to everything? If you ARE that person of course you can’t imagine (if you could you would not be that way).
Can you imagine going through life being the difficult one?
Again, I know, I am preaching to the choir. And you “resistors” are just saying, “la, la, la, la, la… I can’t hear you…..”. There are people in this world that are VERY difficult. There are people who carry expectations that no one can figure out (that is usually part of the forewarn warning). There are people who insist on making the world their way. And THAT makes me very disillusioned.
But just for a second, take a breath and think to yourself… “maybe Joe or Josephine resistor is onto something”. Maybe, just maybe, they have some valid points. Maybe the reason they are so obnoxious is because no one listens to them. Maybe they yell and scream because they do not take the time to articulate their points (raising your voice to someone who speaks a different language never works for understanding). Maybe we should cut them a little slack?
Enter the (effective) Change Management Practitioner
These people are the stakeholders you need to start talking to- rather than running away from.
Those people who warn you? What are the odds that they are also resisting in some way?
One of the strong points of good leaders/guiders of change is their ability to ask questions. Expertise in that area is the ability to re-ask in a different way to gain understanding. Yes, you may go through many rounds with these types of stakeholders. Yes, you may have to spend more time than you would like building a little trust. And yes, you may have to be very careful- there are a few resistors out there that are exactly that, saboteurs.