by Ingrid Bens

Anyone who supports people through change knows that resistance crops up all the time. People push back on everything from altering their behavior to implementing needed next steps. Sometimes they vocalize their resistance, but more often they keep it to themselves. They pretend to go along, while deep down, they hang on to their old behaviors and patterns.

When people push back there’s a natural temptation to go into selling mode. You can see this most clearly in an example from the home front. Let’s say your significant other balks at the idea of going on that cruise you’ve always wanted to take. You immediately bring out the glossy brochure and start to go on and on about the virtues of cruising. When that fails, you try demanding that they take the trip. As a last-ditch strategy, you beg.

What you get from this set of commonly used tactics is either more resistance or grudging compliance. Neither of these emotional states represents a good outcome.

For skilled facilitators, who operate from a place of total neutrality, arguing back and selling aren’t acceptable tactics. That’s because we’re not looking for either a fight or grudging compliance. We want people to fully engage and commit to moving forward. To achieve that, facilitators have developed an alternative method for pushing back which enables people to first identify and then work through their own resistance.

This interactive session explores two very different approaches to resistance. It breaks the two techniques into their component parts and explores the impact of each. Most importantly this session shares specific steps that anyone can use to overcome resistance and build real commitment, whether with clients or in personal relationships.

In this session, Ingrid will:

  • demonstrate two different approaches to dealing with resistance
  • help the group explore the reactions to each approach
  • break down the distinct steps in the facilitative method
  • provide an opportunity for partner practice
  • offer suggestions about how to deal with unspoken resistance