The CEO of a general contractor attributes the high turnover rate of newly hired administrative assistants to their inability to learn construction terminology quickly enough to apply it to proposal writing. The new hires quickly fall behind in their work, and the estimators whom they assist are unable to satisfy the needs of potential and established clients. The general contractor (client) has hired an external training and development consultant to help design a training program that will enable new hires to quickly learn construction terms so that they are able to write proposals and keep up with their work load. The four areas of resistance that the consultant is likely to face with the client during the contracting meeting, just before the project begins, during a weekly project status meeting, and very early into the project are rationalization of the problem, phenomenal improvement, forcing resolution, and questioning results of collected data.
To overcome resistance, the consultant should engage the client in conversations to gain commitment from the client. In this manner, the consultant collaborates with the client in developing the action plan. The consultant should also be aware of the client’s body language for clues about the resistance. Areas of resistance should be acknowledged by the consultant rather than ignored. After identifying areas of resistance, the consultant should remain silent to allow the client to focus the discussion on problems and action.