How Doers Learn to Speak Dreamese

Dreamers drive doers crazy. “Why don’t you talk less and do more?”

Fear of being saddled with futile work causes doers to resist spontaneous dreamers. 


ask to learn not to prove a point

Constant disagreement leads to disdain. Words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ come into play. Dreamers complain to doers:

  1. You never like anything.
  2. You always explain why things won’t work.
  3. You criticize every new idea.

5 steps that connect doers with dreamers:

#1. Get on your dreamer’s team. Apologize to your dreamer for sounding critical. Don’t defend yourself against their complaints about you. It’s how they feel.

#2. Stop pushing back on dreamers. Conflict requires two people. Dreamers resent lack of enthusiasm. They judge doers as foot draggers who lack passion and imagination.

#3. Take dreamers seriously. Shallow passions turn to sobriety when you seriously explore what someone wants. Say, “Tell me more.”

#4. Hold the ‘irritating other’ in high regard. You don’t have to agree with dreamers, but if you want to move forward, respecting them helps.

The value of an ‘irritating other’ is disruption.

#5. Once you convince a dreamer that you respect them, explore their dream with them.

10 questions from doers to dreamers:

Ask open questions.

Genuine curiosity feels like support. Disrespectful questions feel like resistance.

Ask to learn, not to prove a point.

  1. What are you trying to achieve? You might add words like:
    • In the short-term?
    • In the long-term?
    • For yourself?
    • For our team?
    • For our customers?
  2. What happens if we succeed?
  3. How is this an opportunity, from your point of view?
  4. With this idea in mind, what concerns you?
  5. How does this idea reflect your/our values?
  6. If we succeed, what value are we bringing?
  7. What challenges might we face if we move forward?
  8. Who needs to be involved for this to succeed?
  9. What do you want from me?
  10. How long will this take?

How might doers maximize dreamers without getting saddled with frustrating projects?

*This post is a response to a question a doer sent me after reading this morning’s post.