Claudette PORTELLI:

“I will say in the introduction that change is inherent in life; it is therefore inevitable .

Everyone tends to be afraid of change and more or less resists even if they consider that this change is necessary to move forward, progress, and ultimately benefit from it.


School principals must therefore not, like all of us, be afraid of change, but recognize and manage it; transformation therefore begins with working on one's own fear.

There are 4 main types of resistance to change: 

  • The resistance of those who are potentially collaborative : these are highly motivated people with the necessary capacities but who lack know-how and/or do not have exact or complete information. In this case, it is necessary to put in place a strategy of "small steps" to move forward slowly but effectively. (Vision of the mountaineer who climbs the mountain very slowly, gradually, and being very careful about what he is doing)
  • The resistance of those who are emotionally blocked : they are strongly motivated, interested and in need of change but they are unable to act because they are held hostage by a dominant sensation which can be:

- the pleasure , for example of understanding a new technology. In this case we use old Chinese strategies "to roam the sea without the knowledge of the sky" or "to add wood to extinguish the fire"

- suffering ; "the best way out is to go through things and move on" - Robert Frost

- anger : it must be channeled by the transformation into a propeller "kill the snake with its own venom"

- pleasure which has too many advantages; it makes oppositional.

  • The resistance of the opponents /antagonists : they explicitly or implicitly oppose, strongly disagree and declare themselves against the change in order to feel in control (power) or to distinguish themselves (to attract attention). Phenomenon of the forbidden fruit
  • The resistance of ideological oppositionists : these are ideologically rigid people who believe that change will end the system. It is then necessary to respect their beliefs while helping them to know other realities. In this case, learning takes place through practice.

In conclusion, I would say that to persuade, you have to talk about interests and not reasons. "