How Listening to and Respecting “Resistance” Makes You More Effective


The other day, I posted Episode #289 of the podcast, in which Kathleen Sharp and David Schoenwetter made some great points about respecting “push back” or “resistance to change.”

I've now posted a PDF summary of the podcast and you can read some of the thoughts here in this comment.

Kathleen also posted a comment where she shared some additional thoughts:

“In my view, resistance not something to be “overcome”, rather, I consider resistance as additional information (albeit in an unpleasant form). Resistance can signal lack of clarity in messaging, a need for focus, and/or gaps that need to be considered.

It took years for me to learn to view resistance that way, and it has helped me become better at change management, providing focus/clarity, and driving improvement.

I consider resistance as part of the voice of the process . “Overcoming” resistance muffles that voice. IMHO it's worthwhile to take the time to listen to the information it's providing.”

Her thoughts inspired me to write this piece on LinkedIn (and you can also read it on

How Listening to and Respecting “Resistance” Makes You More Effective

I hope you enjoy it and that you'll comment on LinkedIn or below in the comments section of this post.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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