“Get Outa My Face” Opposition

Easily recognizable, this response often (but not always) can be readily addressed by immediately acknowledging it straight on.  The acknowledgement comes with one caveat; however, to maximize effectiveness, it must be firm but non-confrontational.  Example lead in phrases can include things like “I’m picking up some anger about…” or ” I get the sense that this is not something you want…” or ” I don’t want this to be an intrusion on your work, and I think there are ways we can make sure it’s not…”  The key is to engage teachers.  Often that’s best done by soliciting information from them about them as opposed to talking about coaching or its goals.  The most difficult part in confronting “Get Outa My Face” resistance is remaining poised and appearing confident-particularly when te behavior can have the sensation – or actuality – of being a personal attack.  Consciously acknowledging that the individual is likely carrying unresolved baggage can help keep perspective-even if it doesn’t negate the offensiveness of the conduct.  The bottom line is this:  breaking through resistance is hard.  And there are times when, for a variety of reasons, the individual is simply going to be unwilling or unable to move beyond anger or resentment.  It’s rare but can occur.  When good faith efforts fail after a reasonable time, the remedy is not to keep on pushing, but to re-think whether the dynamics can be altered.  If they can’t be, for heaven’s sake, stop!

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