You need strong support but nobody’s listening.
There are two big reasons why people just don’t seem to be interested in what we’re talking about. Reason 1: They simply don’t believe that this idea or project affects them. Reason 2: Showing disinterest is safer than showing their anger or fear.
Something you ought to do before you begin to address Reason 1 or Reason 2 is:
Find out why they’re not engaged. Is it because:
- They don’t understand what you’re talking about?
- They’re concerned about or afraid of what this idea might mean for them?
- They don’t trust you (or who you represent)?
It you’re not sure how to get answers to those three questions, please take a look at The Magic List. It will show you how to gather that information and how to interpret it. (See link below.)
Reason 1: They don’t think it affects them.
If this is the case, then you probably haven’t made a case that a change is needed. This is a common problem. We leap ahead and explain how we’re going to do things and fail to tell people why it was important to even consider doing something new. I believe that making the case that something new is needed is the most critical point in the life of the change—and the most overlooked.
Making a case involves more than just giving people facts and figures. People make decisions based on their emotional responses to things. Unless your 150-slide PowerPoint presentation compels people to leap from their seats with a fervent sense of urgency to act now, then you must provide more than just data. Please read my article titled How to Make a Compelling Case for Change. (See link below.) It will give you step-by-step guidance on how to get people’s attention and interest.
Once you’ve made a case, their energy should now be at 4 on The Energy Bar™ Assessment. Now it’s time to go back to the assessment and read what you need to do to move that energy from a 4 to a 6.
Option 2: There’s something deeper working under the surface.
If you found that people were concerned or frightened about this idea, and/or they lacked trust in you or those you represent, then take the assessment again and score it 6-2 or 6-1. Those scores might more accurately reflect the challenge you face today.
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
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
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