How to Cuddle Up with “No” and Win With Doom and Gloomers

Dreamers swim in an ocean filled with doom and gloomers who love pointing out danger.

Dreamers start with “Yes”. Everyone else seems like a kill-joy.

Dreamers see resistance when others don’t fall in love with their ideas.

Doom and gloomers seem resistant to optimistic dreamers.

Cuddle up with “No”

“No” comforts doom and gloomers. They won’t get in over their heads. They’re protecting current wins. They need a clear path to the end, before they begin. (All good stuff.)

Don’t offer flippant answers.

The worst thing you can do is minimize real concerns.

You can’t win hearts and minds by pressuring reluctant people into conformity.

Bring ideas to doom and gloomers. Listen to concerns. Say, “Thank you. Lets think about that.” Walk away. Don’t offer solutions.

When you flippantly answer the real concerns of doom and gloomers you invite them to dig into their bucket of doom. They’re compelled to convince you that you aren’t seeing reality. Frankly, their concerns may be justified.

When you trivialize the concerns of others, you seem ignorant, out of touch, closed, and stubborn.

Stay open to the possibility that a doom and gloomer is at least 10% right.

7 questions that draw wisdom from doom and gloom:

  1. Engage doom and gloomers early. Say, “I’m thinking about this new initiative. What comes to mind?”
  2. What’s behind your concern/reluctance? Listen for things they’re protecting. You may agree.
  3. How might we test this idea?
  4. Who might know more about this?
  5. What happens if we do nothing? This question assumes your idea is a legitimate offer to solve a real problem.
  6. What might a pilot program look like?
  7. Can we make this better? “Yes” to this question invites people to find ways to make new ideas work.

Bonus: What’s the next step that doesn’t require a major commitment?

How might dreamers win with doom and gloomers?

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