When introducing any new change you tend to get a few common types of people. These are: Cynics, Skeptics, Supporters, Promoters, Leaders and Doubters. With most of these groups, it’s easy to figure out what to do with them. I tend to avoid or remove the cynics – their approach is one where they actively look to undermine any effort for productive change. I will work hard with the skeptics for they become the most staunch supporters – typically, their motivation is one of looking to understand and testing the change. The supporters, promoters and leaders are the people who will carry the message, be curious and help shape the future.
It’s the doubters that can be a challenge. Doubt is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing as long as it leads to a constructive and active dialogue. In this form it’s closely related to skepticism. However, doubters can very often be the most passive group that offer no alternatives, insight on what might be better or feedback on what specifics need attention. They just doubt.
Yann Martel writes, “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
Are you in doubt over a change or new initiative? Instead of doubting, how might you shift gears to provide an alternative approach to solving the problems you see?