How to flow with resistance

Life flows easily when others go along with us and eagerly embrace our ideas. But when we meet opposition, we tend to fight resistance with more resistance, which leads to …….. more resistance and even resentment. Instead of stubbornly defending your idea like a dog with a bone, you can reduce the contention by using a more dynamic approach.

Here is how to flow with resistance.

  • Once your idea is out on the table, consider it public domain. Try to put your agenda (and ego) aside and give up the need to “be right”. Instead, invite the creativity of others to help shape and refine the final outcome.

  • Don’t let what you perceive as an attack on your ideas because you forget that your goal is to gain support not defeat an enemy. Respect resisters by listening carefully to their points of view and responding without anger or defensiveness.

  • Identify the blocks. Ask: What do people oppose about the idea? Do they have concerns about the way it will impact them? Do they dislike the idea or the way you plan to carry it out? Do they need more information to feel comfortable before committing to the idea?

  • Be prepared to do additional footwork. You may need to put a new twist on your plan or gather more information to convince others that you’ve got the right idea. Sometimes our “devils advocates” can become our closest allies, once their doubts have been dispelled.

  • “If you can’t beat them, join them.” This doesn’t mean sending up the white flag or sacrificing your ideas. It means using the synergy that comes from combining your ideas with others to find the best solution. Seek common interests that you can use to craft a common vision.

In most organizations, everyone is working toward the same ultimate goal, though they may be looking at it from different sides. In these cases, a blending of perspectives and a combination of solutions often work best for all concerned.