People's Likely Attitudes to Change

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You will find a range of different reactions when you start talking to people about your ideas for change. In that rich diversity, think about what you need from each person. Remember, you don’t have to move them from one end of the spectrum to the other - moving them just one step in the right direction will make a big difference for you.

Watch for the following reactions to change:

Actively Resistant

Wow! What a pain these people are!

They are right there in front of you all the time, opposing you at every turn and undermining your every effort
They are likely to be speaking to others about why this is not a good idea, spreading misinformation about you and your project, and they might even be rallying the troops to oppose you.

Resistant

These people can be quite a bother too.

They disagree with you, but are not necessarily out there rallying the troops
If given the opportunity, they are likely to speak and act negatively
You can’t count on them to support you or your project in any way, but they usually won’t try to influence others to their point of view.

Neutral

These are the inactive types.

They understand what you are trying to achieve, but sit firmly on the fence
Often they’re not too worried, because they don’t really believe you will get your ideas up.

Undecided

These people definitely have a view

They are just not ready to commit to action
They do understand what you are trying to achieve, but are torn between working with you or against you
They are not neutral so you need to bring them around to your point of view.

Uninformed

These people can really get on your nerves

They have not paid attention and do not understand your position

If you are lucky they won’t have formed an opinion either way. However, sometimes they will have formed an opinion despite their lack of knowledge.

Undecided

These people definitely have a view

They are just not ready to commit to action.
They do understand what you are trying to achieve, but are torn between working with you or against you
They are not neutral so you need to bring them around to your point of view.

Supportive

These people are your allies.

They know what you are on about and they reckon you’re on the right track

Even though they’re supportive, you can’t necessarily count on them to actually do anything about it.

Actively supportive

Now you’re talking.

These are the people standing right beside you and putting in their intellect, creativity and effort to make it happen.

Adapted from Influencing Others, W Nothstine, 1989