As a Change Agent, I can almost guarantee that you will eventually bump into someone who doesn’t think highly of you. In fact, they might express outright disdain for you. Sometimes this is because you represent a change that is going to be difficult for them. Sometimes it’s just because of the way you look or speak.
Rather than confronting the person or seeking to “defeat” them or “fix” them, try listening to their needs without absorbing the negative blow. This will not be easy, but it can be done and the payoff can be great.
I still remember the first time that I handled this type of situation well. Someone blasted me without mercy – mostly because I of what I represented. I calmly and respectfully allowed him to vent (in front of a large room full of people) and he eventually caved in to peer pressure and started contributing in a more productive way. It opened new doors of capability for me to be able to help people who genuinely disliked me.
This gives me a whole new perspective in reflecting back on a Yester-Day when being the “Face” for Organizational change to a very rigid team of “more of the same of what I know”. Tough position many of us find ourselves in. After been given advice, “ to stand tall and be more challenging in my convictions” , did not sit well with me that night as I reflected on the day, I decided to do a little research in learning why I was feeling some kind of way. Then I fell upon this article and literally, out of the mouths of babes, as I read, I said, “YES, this is talking about me”. I was the person who was respectful in letting this person vent in front of a full room of people. Nothing I said was going to make a difference as he had already tuned me out. After that day of events, there was a change in his behavior through his email communications. Whether it is a long lasting change, who knows, but at least my reaction to it was on a good path. This proved to have nothing to do with me. Now if I could prevent myself from absorbing the negative blow…Voila! I just wanted to share this with whomever is faced with this. One of those things that makes you go "hmmmmmmm".