Resistance to Change Might Be a Good Thing

Sometimes resistance to change is a good thing.  Yes, a good thing.  The key is to keep an open mind as you learn what is behind the resistance.

I once met with a dentist and his team and we discussed if the practice was busy enough to add more days of hygiene.  I learned that new patients and existing patients in need of an appointment had to wait over four weeks to get scheduled.  It was obvious the practice would benefit from adding more days of hygiene, and the dentist believed they could immediately add one extra day per week.

As we discussed the logistics of implementing this plan of growth, I noticed resistance from the front team.  They were encouraging a different route, one that involved adding just a morning of extra hygiene per month and then after several months adding another half day.  Their plan did not make sense considering the practice was busy enough to add one extra day per week right away.

Fortunately, the dentist and I kept an open mind as we discussed the reasons for their resistance.  The front team explained that the practice was struggling to stay on time.  Since the dentist was still new to many of the patients, he was taking extra time to get to know them, and that was running each hygienist late.  Adding another day of hygiene would just make the matter worse and it might lead to losing disgruntled patients.

We spent some time exploring options for how to correct the situation, and thanks to the resistance initially offered by the front team, we had a much more effective plan for practice growth.

The next time you encounter resistance, I encourage you to remain open minded.  It just might be that resistance leads you to some welcomed insights.

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