Their lack of interest could hinder progress.
A score of 5 suggests that you probably need people to be willing to give your idea a chance—pitch in, offer feedback, try it out, and just generally go along with the change. The problem is that they aren’t interested. Your idea doesn’t trouble them; they just don’t believe it affects them. You’ve also indicated that yes, you are willing to be influenced by them. If this describes the challenge you are facing, please take a look at these suggestions to help you get started.
- It’s likely that you failed to make a compelling case that something new was needed. This is a common mistake. We may be so taken by the urgency of what we’re proposing that we forget to let people know why a change is so important.
For the time being, consider putting your action plans on hold and focusing on helping people understand why a change is needed so badly.
Making a compelling case for why something is needed rests on three things:
- People need to understand why it’s important for them shift what they have been doing to something new. Without that, your idea will be toast. While you may need to cover facts and figures, remember that people get interested in changing when it affects them emotionally—that can be either excitement or fear.
- People need to get it in their guts that a change is needed. In other words, there needs to be a visceral, emotional response when they think about either the risks of not changing or the tremendous opportunities awaiting them if they do change.
- They need to trust you. They need to believe that you know what you’re talking about.
Please read Why Resistance Matters and How to Make a Compelling Case for Change. (You’ll see the links below.)
- Here’s a warning: It’s possible that their apparent indifference is a safe cover, hiding deeper resistance. (I doubt anyone ever got fired for keeping their mouth shut.) If you even suspect that this might be the case, please read the description for The Energy Bar™ scores of 5-2 or 5-1. Either of these can help you address deeper resistance.
One way to find out is to make your case for change, and if they still don’t show interest, then the resistance is probably deeper.
How to Make a Compelling Case for Change. This is a paper that will show you ways to help people see WHY a change is needed. The step of making a compelling case is the most important – and the most overlooked – stage in the life of any idea. More
The Magic List. A free e-book that will help you identify why people might be resisting you, and show you how to build on the support you do have and work effectively with whatever resistance you are facing. More
Why Resistance Matters is a four-page article that describes three levels of support and resistance. More
The Energy Bar™ Group
It’s most likely that you’re here because you need to gain support from a team, a full organization, or one key person - possibly for a one-time project, an idea that you'd like to see come to life, or maybe for a large-scale organization change. Keep the momentum going and join The Energy Bar™ Group. Our informal online group is where I share my very best work and resources, with examples of people using The Energy Bar™ effectively in organizations. It’s a place for you to connect with peers, ask questions and offer your own ideas. Our group is free to join, and you can opt out easily at any time. I hope you’ll consider joining me. – Rick Maurer