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.