Dealing With Apathy As A Leader

Picture the scene.

You’ve just discovered or come up with a great idea or new way of working that’s going to change the world.

You’re on a crusade to put your idea into practice.

You start speaking to people about it.

You’re met with some familiar responses.

It won’t work.

We tried that before.

Good luck with that.

That’s not part of my job

And no doubt a whole host of other responses.

So as a leader who is measured on the results that they achieve, how do you deal with this apathy?

Acknowledge their perspective

You could try and get into a long winded debate and even force your point of views on others.

Of course it’s much easier to start by acknowledging their perspective.

Understand their perspective

Now it’s easy for others to throw out statements like it won’t work.

On the other hand as the leader you don’t have much to work on.

The only way you are going to be able to respond is to understand others perspectives.

The best way of doing that is to ask good open questions and listen to the responses without interrupting.

Be open to adapting or changing your thinking

When you ask questions and listen you are showing genuine interest.

Of course it’s pointless asking and listening if you are not open to adapting your thinking based on what you learn.

Get others to help shape the solution

If people have the opportunity to play a significant part in shaping a solution to change or improvement, the more likely they are to help make it happen.

Accept that they might feel as if they are covering old ground

For those who have been in the workplace for years there is very little that’s completely new.

More often than not changes are an improvement or enhancement of something that already exists.

Say to people that you value their experience and that while what you are suggesting might not be brand new, is a positive step forward with clear benefits.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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