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Thread: Dealing with resistance

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005

    Dealing with resistance

    Anyone have any tips or suggestions for how to handle a situation where you know you're going to get resistance from those involved?

    Case in point: Community group wants one thing. Administration is in favor of it but not willing to direct departments involved. Departments involved don't want to do it (read DPW).
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    this is my day right now - it's so very difficult balancing staff, citizens, and then throw in your chief elected officials and they add another need to the whole thing

    in the end, often it's compromise on all sides

    I try to find out what is it that staff doesn't like - that they don't have enough staff, capital funding, or what - and I make them tell me what it is and then I make them tell me what the solution should be - throw it in their lap so they are part of the solution - I involved the department heads in every step of the comp plan process and that also helped

    and finally, once you put draft 1 out there as the staff recommendation, then sit back and watch the red pens fly and (without being a doom and gloom debbie-downer) when they propose changes, make sure they understand the ramifications of the change

    and administration needs to make sure the department forward what they want - I can't imagine our town manager wanting A and us department heads forwarding B

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    SW-Coastal WA
    If you have some time to do it this way, try to talk to people individually before the meeting. Once people state their negative position in front of a group, it's much harder to get them to change their minds because their ego is at stake. If you have a chance to talk one on one with a few key people beforehand, you have a better shot at framing it favorably and garnering cooperation in the meeting. The group as a whole typically takes its cues from a few key people. Often, people haven't had the time to seriously research it personally and thus draw their own conclusions, so they go with whatever someone else believes whom they think knows their stuff. Many times, people don't realize that's where they are getting their opinion. So your best hope of developing a cooperative atmosphere is to work one on one with those key people before they have a chance to inadvertently convince the entire group to boo you down from the get go.

    Good luck with this.

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