Navigating Through Change: Anticipating and Avoiding Resistance

The last installment of our three-part blog series addresses the importance of anticipating and circumventing opposition as it relates to imminent change.

This series will conclude with a live stream event titled: Can you spare some change? Capitalizing on corporate shifts and alleviating anxiety by promoting the value of transformation, on Thursday, June 15th, 2 pm (MT).  We encourage you to tune in as Dr. Selzer, along with a panel of industry leaders, discuss the perils, pitfalls, and potentials of change.  For more information, please click here.


There are big changes on our company horizon, and we want to be as proactive about these changes as we can. What tips could you give us?

If you are trying to make a change happen, understanding the change process is helpful in letting you know what type of resistance you might encounter from others who are involved. You then can understand how to help move them through the process so that they ultimately accept the change. The following steps should help you help others navigate change.

  • Normalize the discomfort, loss, and potentially challenging adjustments they will need to make. Help them see that their feelings of resistance and frustration are a very normal part of the process of change and that they can take control of the process by making decisions about how they will proactively move through the change.
  • Get real feedback from all areas of your organization affected by the change. Show people that their feedback was reflected upon and important, even if it wasn’t implemented. People don’t need to “get their own way,” they just need to legitimately feel that “their way” has been considered.
  • Model positive change attitude. As a leader, people will take their cues from you. If you are not proactive and positive about the change, others will have a difficult time as well. Be authentic about the losses you may face because of the change, but model how you are proactively finding the positive aspects and moving forward.
  • Mentor your team through the process. Help them see where their skills will still be used and how their future contributions will matter. Vision cast how this change will contribute to the effectiveness of your organization and the specific reasons it will be positive for the team.
  • Identify the positives the change will bring about. Be very specific. Don’t assume people can see these without your articulation of exactly what the desired outcome is. Remember you have thought through this change and know why it is important, but the people you are working with most likely have not had that opportunity.
  • Keep channels of mutual communication open. Make time to hear what people are thinking. Solicit suggestions for how to make the change happen smoothly. Be very clear in your communication, making sure the messages around the change are clear and repeated so everyone understands why the change is occurring and what the future will look like after the change is implemented.



Dr. Liz Selzer is founder/CEO of the Mentor Leadership Team, a consulting company that promotes mentoring initiatives and strong corporate cultures. She also teaches leadership at selected universities.

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