Understanding the Nature of Resistance

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Although its rarely stated directly, design as a profession is a consulting business. While we are responsible for producing work, we still seek final approval elsewhere. This fundamental understanding is important because our business, and ultimately the most difficult part of our job, is the business of influencing others.

It is natural for us to think that if we present our designs clearly and logically, provide data to support our decisions, and truly have the client’s best interests at heart, that we will get the buy-in and support that we are seeking. We often believe this because we are not paying enough attention to the affective level of our interactions with others until we begin to run into resistance.
Given that designers are agents of change, resistance is a predictable and natural part of our profession. The key to understanding resistance is to realize that is it an emotional reaction against the process of change, of being helped, or having to face up to difficult organizational problems.

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Understanding the Nature of Resistance

  1. 1. Understanding theNature of ResistancePresented by Alla Zollers@azollers
  2. 2. Welcome to Therapy
  3. 3. We are all consultants
  4. 4. You can advice, recommend, influence
  5. 5. You can’t make anyone do what you want
  6. 6. Attend to feelings that are under the surfaceYou can advice, recommend, influence
  7. 7. Managing ResistanceActivity: Note down the name of a current orrecent project where you faced resistance
  8. 8. Resistance is futile natural
  9. 9. Resistance is an emotional process
  10. 10. Resistance is discomfort expressed indirectly
  11. 11. Identify it Name it Wait
  12. 12. Identify it: Use your ownfeelings as a gauge
  13. 13. Activity:Write down how you felt
  14. 14. Name it:Resistance has many facesIt’s important to the name the resistance in a neutral way
  15. 15. Questioning Methods“You are asking a lot of questions about my methods. Do you have doubts about the credibility of results?”
  16. 16. Confusion “You seem very confusedabout what we are discussing. Are you confused about theproblem or just not sure what to do about it?”
  17. 17. Intellectualizing “Each time we get close to deciding what to do, you goback to developing theories tounderstand what is happening”
  18. 18. Compliance “You seem to be willing to doanything I suggest. I can’t tell what you real feelings are”
  19. 19. Activity: Think about the typeof resistance you werefacing and name it in a neutral way
  20. 20. Wait:Leave room for the response
  21. 21. Share Your Feelings
  22. 22. “Authentic behaviorwith a client meansyou put into wordswhat you areexperience with theclient as you work.This is the mostpowerful thing youcan do to have theleverage you arelooking for and theto build clientcommitment”Peter BlockFlawless Consulting
  23. 23. Thank you!azollers@gmail.com@azollers

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