ResistingChange

December 27, 2003
Esther Derby posts about change, linking to some other posts on the subject. In general, it's good stuff, but one of the posts includes this:
In all these examples, there is an emotional resistance to agile development. The irrationality of emotions requires a different approach; you can't simply present a logical framework and expect that reason alone will be sufficient to generate acceptance. [emphasis mine]
I think we must be careful here. It may seem I'm merely splitting hairs, but EmotionsAreNotIrrational.

Even though Christian claimed in passing that emotions are irrational, I think he would agree with me as he has a wonderful example which clearly identifies change resistence originating at the belief level:
Sometimes the resistance comes from the transference of previous experience. For example, I once outlined an automated testing approach to a group and someone reacted very badly. He flatly claimed it would not work and had no value. It was revealed later, he had tried something similar and it failed. He identified the two ideas as equivalent and had a “it's happening again” reaction, which blocked his ability to assess the actual approach outlined and not just his assumption of it. Furthermore, if the approach I outlined did work (and it really was similar to his own), then he is faced with confronting a new type of failure; maybe he was the flaw and not the idea.
This is why MakingBadProgrammersCare is difficult.



see also ResistanceAsAResource

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