Us versus Them: Reframing Resistance to Change

Anyone attempting to lead change in an organization knows to expect some resistance. Change is not a rational process; no matter how positive the future you are creating, it’s natural for humans to struggle with it. Faced with negative remarks, critical questions, or stony silence, change champions naturally begin to interact more with those already on board, consciously or unconsciously distancing themselves from those who “don’t get it.”

Gradually, a wall begins to form between “us” and “them” — champions who support the change, and resistors who openly or quietly oppose it. When we think of people as resistors, we don’t truly engage with them. We tend to discount their perspective, assuming that if we are right, they must be wrong. In reality, each side is paying attention to different things

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