The Creative Force of Resistance

One of the issues that comes up in almost every change initiative is that of Resistance. How will people respond to the planned changes? Will they be resistant? What can we do to address resistance to change?

Thanks to my training in Gestalt approaches to change and development, I’ve come to discover that we can see Resistance as a gift rather than as a challenge. What, you say? Yes, Resistance can serve as a creative force – whether working at the level of an individual, a group, or a larger system.

There are many things I could say about this topic, but let me offer this simple idea to start:

Resistance is healthy, and even necessary! Think of driving on an icy road – snow chains can be essential equipment in certain places. And the job of the snow chain is to resist – to create a tension between the road and car that allows for safer driving. No resistance, and the driver has no feedback from the road, no ability to respond to icy conditions, and can end up in a crash!

I’ve given a few talks about the ways in which Resistance can be a creative source of change. In one recent session, one of the participants made a graphic summary of the main ideas. Have a look below, and contact me to chat about how these ideas fit in your context as a leader or group member.



Thanks to Andrea Hancock for the graphics, and to MAFN for hosting this webinar!


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