Radio Silence


I haven’t written a blog post in 64 days. My dad passed away in March, so my heart’s been elsewhere. My mom got knocked down and broke her hip three weeks ago, so I’ve been in California supporting her. Our business manager of eight years took a new job elsewhere, so I’ve been tending the business as well as clients. I am working on a new book, so my mind’s been there, and I’ve been spending much time mapping the functionality of The Change Leader’s Network site, searching for IT vendors, etc. What’s all this got to do with not writing and being in radio silence these past couple months? transistor radio

If you want your change efforts to run smoothly, your stakeholders must perceive them as relevant and meaningful. Relevance comes from how the change fits in the bigger picture of their world and the organization. Meaning comes from how it touches them personally, on a deeper emotional or even spiritual level. Without relevance and meaning, adults do not turn their attention, energy and action toward something in a positive and sustainable way. It’s no different in writing a blog.

I could have faked interest in writing these past two months. Marketers would have coached me to do that, but I just wasn’t interested. The connection between me and the words wasn’t there. My creative channel was just not open. The messages and the words weren’t flowing.

So the best thing I could do was sit still:” just don’t do something, sit there!”

Too often we jump to action because we are “supposed to.” Marketers would have admonished me, “You must be consistent in your blog writing to be successful.” But sometimes internal measures of what is right far surpass external measures and reasons. Sometimes you just got to do what feels right to you. Your inner guidance is always your best compass, especially in leading change.

And that is why when dealing with resistance, in yourself or others, you invite the resistance out rather than cover it up with artificial action. Don’t engage staff to try to cover up their resistance. Rather, first engage them in the conversation about their resistance. Let the resistance be present, felt and honored, and then you will see it resove itself and the actions that follow will be driven by authentic relevance and meaning, making them far more potent and sustainable.

What is occuring in your life or change effort right now that you are covering up with busy-ness and action, rather than just sitting with and feeling? Sometimes just sitting with our resistance invites out deeper meaning, greater relevance and a more profound commitment. I know that has been true in my relationship with this blog going forward. I hope that becomes evident to you.

4 Comments


  1. Sep 18, 2012
    1:46 am

    Minda Stackelhouse

    Leaning into resistance and learning to be comfortable with it is such a challenge as a leader. We constantly want to resolve or fix but experience teaches us that this only covers up the problem. Real solution comes when we allow ourselves and others to feel the resistance, study it, and learn from it.


    • Sep 18, 2012
      2:23 pm

      Dean Anderson

      Minda, Well said. I think of resistance as bread crumbs to success…or enlightenment. Follow the trail into resistance and it leads to an opening, transformation and breakthrough.


  2. Sep 10, 2013
    3:50 am

    Alyson Cartagena

    It seems at times that we as humans are interested in a “keeping things rolling” attitude without placing attention to the content of work. Taking some time to avoid the “rat race” (especially when it is not one that we created nor believe we have entered)truly allows for genuine and thoughtful work. Truly that is the work for which we can be proud.


  3. Dec 9, 2013
    8:30 pm

    Suzanne Danielle

    Thank you Linda sharing about your radio silence. I can resonate.
    For several years after experiencing two deep personal losses, I resisted where I was more often than not. I so often would believe that I “should” be in a different place, I could not understand why I could not just “move” and get back into the pace of my life. I functioned well enough so that from the outside people did not perceive me struggling and resisting where I was, but it was and privately struggling. I was operating at a good 40 – 50%. I sought out help from professional Coaches to help me get back to my “old self”, yet again only to find myself still “stuck”. The more I tried to think my way out of my grief the more frustrated and confused I felt. Resisting where I was and feeling “stuck” undermined my confidence unnecessarily.
    Recently I have had a breakthrough; it unfolded naturally. I am now feeling and living my life with renewed energy and commitment. As I reflect on my journey, I understand with compassion and see the meaning of my process (I am sure I will continue to gain more insight overtime). The more I embrace and respect exactly where I am, the more I remain present and conscious the more I am able to move forward. There are many times in our lives when this is so hard, even for professionals trained in personal and organizational change. Resistance is human. I am once again reminded, what we resist persists; being still and present are healing actions.

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Powerful business solutions to the current chaos facing many organizations today. Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson get to the heart of change, the human touch, by using timeless techniques and tools.
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