Most people are not obstructionists.

I’ve been reading a lot of change management literature lately, and much ink has been spilled in that field over how best to work with those who resist organizational change. Such resistance takes many forms—it can be active or passive—but it’s always damaging. For every person in an organization who won’t get on board, the chances of successful change diminish.

There are a variety of approaches to working with such people, but most are based on one central premise: People who resist change aren’t trying to be jerks. They’re trying to do the right thing, as they see it.

According to their worldview, change holdouts are acting in the organization’s best interest. They may be wrong, of course, but it’s worth remembering that their motives are usually pure. We all see the world from our own unique perspective, even if that perspective is rooted in incomplete, outdated, or outright wrong information.

With this in mind, it’s far better to win someone over by taking the time to understand their perspective and explain our own than to bulldoze through their barricade.

We all want the best for the organizations we’re a part of. The more we can remember that, the happier and more productive we’ll all be.