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When dealing with any skeptical viewpoint, it’s important to address concerns upfront, rather than sweep them under the rug and hope they go away. Joe Anzalone sits down with us to give practical examples of using empathy to build confidence among stakeholders and convert skeptics in the workplace.

What are some ways you increase buy-in from skeptics?


Joe Anzalone:          I don’t look in them so much as skeptics, I look at people as being shaped by their experiences. The first thing is to frame things in terms of empathy. To say to them, “If I were you, I might be wondering why this new guy is coming in here and really proposing a new program when we already have more programs than we can use.” Or I might say, “If I were you, I’d be wondering how somebody like me can come into your region and really profess any type of expertise when I haven’t been working in the region for 20 years, like you have.” And they immediately say, “I was thinking that.”

You get the objections out on the table and from that point over, they have a little bit more trust because they feel as if you’re looking at things from their point of view. And that is really step one, for them to understand that I’ve done a little bit of research on you, this is what I think you’re thinking. It’s crucial really, before you get into telling them your idea or telling them what great vision you have, you have to acknowledge that they have a point of view.