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LOGO for Workforce Enhancement Program  / Coaching, Evaluating and Delivering Constructive Feedback – Learning Series In the “Responding to Resistance” topic, a number of principles and strategies for addressing resistance were presented.  This knowledge check asks a number of questions to check your understanding of the principles and strategies presented.  Please refer to the “Responding to Resistance” topic message to refresh your memory.

  1. Which of the following is not an example of when resistance can occur during the feedback process?
    1. The employee doesn’t agree with your version of the situations
    2. The employee doesn’t acknowledge you in casual settings

      The correct answer is b. The employee doesn’t acknowledge you in casual settings.  There can be a number of reasons why the employee doesn’t acknowledge you in a casual setting; most of which aren’t likely cause for concern.
    3. The employee doesn’t accept responsibility for his or her actions
    4. The employee doesn’t acknowledge the significance of his or her behavior
  2. Elizabeth sits down with one of staff, Garrett, to discuss a situation that happened last week.  Elizabeth explains her understanding of the situation, but Garrett doesn’t agree.  After listening to Garrett’s telling of the situation, she restates what he has said and asks if she correctly understands.  Which principle of responding to resistance is Elizabeth demonstrating?
    1. Use questions to dig deeper
    2. Resist the urge to fill empty space
    3. Confirm your understand

      The correct answer is c. Confirm your understanding.  Elizabeth was careful to confirm her understanding of the situation before attempting to address Garrett’s resistance.  Before responding to resistance, try to summarize your understanding for the employee and ask explicitly if you’ve understood correctly.  This practice will ensure that you have all the facts and that you and the employee are starting from the same point.
    4. Define and confirm an action plan
  3. True or False: When responding to resistance from an employee, the goal is to get him or her to agree with you.
    1. True
    2. False

      The correct answer is b. False.  The goal in responding to resistance is not to force someone to agree with you.  Instead look for ways to mitigate the objections and make your feedback more palatable and more manageable.  This approach will give the employee ample space to express himself or herself and to make the coaching relationship most productive for all involved.
  1. Marty and Valarie, one of his staff members, don’t always get along personally, but have managed to form a strong professional relationship to work together effectively.  Before Marty sits down with Valerie for their regular coaching conversations, Marty makes careful notes and is mindful to provide feedback that is directly related to Valerie’s work.  Which principle of responding to resistance is Marty demonstrating?
    1. Address any resistance that exists within yourself

      The correct answer is a. Address any resistance that exists within yourself.  Marty is aware that since he and Valerie don’t always get along his feedback could be influenced from those interactions where their personalities and opinions don’t mix well.  To be an objective coach, Marty is thoughtful and considers each piece of feedback he plans to share with Valerie to ensure that it’s accurate and unbiased.
    2. Define and confirm an action plan
    3. Follow up
    4. Confirm your understanding
  1. Which of the following is not a benefit of responding to resistance?
    1. Enhances your understanding of the employee’s feelings and allows you to more effectively tailor your feedback
    2. Encourages the employee to think critically about his or her emotions and then process and respond to your feedback in a constructive way
    3. Enables you and the employee to put a plan to place to address the feedback and check-in on a regular basis to confirm the same situation doesn’t happen again
    4. Makes it possible to disregard the effect that diversity has on the resistance that the employee may display

The correct answer is d. Makes it possible to disregard the effect that diversity has on the resistance that the employee may display.  It is always important to consider the impact that diversity has on the resistance the employee displays as well as how you respond to resistance.  In all coaching situations – and especially when dealing with resistance – it’s imperative to consider how diversity is affecting the situations.