Resistance fighters: how newcomers can speak up and not get put down by the rest of the crowd

Raising criticisms or concerns can often be a heroic act, even within a group whose members know each other well (a reality familiar to anyone who has tried to offer constructive feedback to a sensitive family member or friend.) Pity then the group’s newcomer, who can expect even brilliant suggestions to meet harsh resistance.

So how to counter that resistance? What’s a newcomer to do to gain greater influence in a group?

The Situationist reports on a newly published study that has some recommendations for newcomers seeking to gain acceptance of ideas:

When they criticized their current group, newcomers who distanced themselves from their previous group won over more agreement for their criticisms than did newcomers who embraced their previous group. This effect emerged regardless of how long participants themselves had been members of the group. Consistent with predictions, where there was a positive effect of distancing from the old group, it came about because the distancing strategy was successful in increasing perceptions that the critic was psychologically attached to his or her current group identity.

The report can be downloaded for a brief time only in PDF. Link good at time of posting.

                        author

Diane J. Levin

Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

Parenting by Looking Away: Sometimes the Best Help Doesn’t Look like Help

Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation by Dan SimonI became a parent in the age of “helicopter parenting” – where the parents are overly focused on their children and...

By Janet Mueller
Category

What to Think About When Your Business is Breaking Up

It is time to go. Leave the business. Exit your partnership. Whether you simply don’t have the heart for the products and services your company offers, the conflict or frustration...

By Jason Dykstra
Category

6 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Sometimes I  will receive a call from spouses at the beginning stages of the divorce process who say they both want mediation, but are not sure whether or not they need it....

By Cris Pastore

Find a Mediator

X
X
X