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The Three Levels Of Resistance

For some of you, you may think fear works; keeping people a little afraid to stay motivated. If you’re dictating to them what to do, they are likely to comply, but that does not mean they are following you.

They are not following you, they are complying.

What I’ve seen over the years is that people who take a more dictatorial approach to their people tend to have three levels of resistance to hurdle. This most likely builds up over time as an accumulative effect.

The three levels of resistance to a feared leader are…

  1. Hesitation. When you give an employee a task, they may want to comply, but they hesitate. They stop for a minute to think about the request and when they comply they have not fully bought into the idea.
  2. Resistance. They resist your request and you can tell they are not interested. They are not fully engaged in your request and it’s noticeable. At this point, they are still complying but they may create problems, take longer to do the task, and slow the process down.
  3. Refusal. Instead of the employee communicating resistance, they simply refuse to comply! This can be because of a whole gamut of reasons including, “you can’t make me” or, “this is not the right thing to do.”

These levels of resistance come almost exclusively from being a leader that people fear.If you build trust with you people, they will follow you naturally and there is an open conversation between you and your staff.

Think about your business…

Do you have hesitation from employees?
Do you have people who are resisting?
Do you have people who are refusing? Usually, after refusal… People leave.

Have you lost people because of this or are you about to lose people?

You’ve spent all this time, money, and energy! Now your best people are ready to jump ship!

What are you going to do? Take some time to think about it as this is very important. Employees show up if they like and trust their leader.



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