Courtesy of bjortklingd, Some Rights Reserved

Interesting article in the Harvard Business Publishing site called: How to Counter Resistance to Change. I’ve been fascinated by the story Peter Bregman tells: a story I know very well having a young son:

“Daddy, what’s for dessert?" Isabelle was six at the time. Willpower was not one of her "areas needing development."

"Well let’s see, you can have an apple or some grapes."

"I want ice cream."

"That’s not one of the choices, Sweetie. Do you want an apple or grapes?"

"Ice cream."

We went on like that for a few minutes and then she said, "If I can’t have ice cream then I want a banana."

"Hmm," I responded, "that’s not one of the choices but that’s OK too. I’ll get you one."

"Thanks Daddy," she said, clearly happy. Was she happy to have a banana or happy to have gotten something that was not one of the choices I offered?

Read the article for the full conclusions and let me underline two extra ‘lesson learned’:


It doesn’t matter [if she is happy to have a banana or to have gotten something what was not one of the choices]. Because my goal wasn’t to break her will or show her who’s boss. I was going for a very specific and clear outcome: nothing less than to build in her a lifelong habit of healthy eating. I wanted her to eat fruit for dessert and (this is the challenging part) be happy about it.


Because people don’t resist change, they resist being changed.

Tell us your experience on this topic!