How Can I Tell if People Are Going to Support or Resist Me?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

(#7 in The Energy Bar series)

Although The Energy Bar is a simple and practical tool — some people watch the three-minute video and put it to use immediately — others get stuck because they don’t know how to use it.  Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to address the three big questions I being asked.

The first questions is: “How can I tell where people’s energy is today?  I don’t know if they are going to support my idea or resist it.”

It all begins with what I call “the list”. This list must include the reasons why people might support or resist whatever it is you are trying to promote.  Here are three simple and quick ways to gather that information.

  1. Coffee with Joe. (Joe can be either gender.) Joe is like a human barometer. He just knows what’s going on. You can go to Joe and ask, “What’s the word on the street about this project?” And the Joe or Jos of the world will tell you. You may not like what you hear, but you’ll hear it loud and all-too-clearly. These people are invaluable if you allow yourself to listen to them.
  2. Hang out. In the classic book, In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman found that better leaders tended to apply MBWA- management by walking around. These leaders did not walk around with an agenda. They went on “listening tours.” They were available, and people talked to them.
  3. Conduct a quick anonymous survey.

Look carefully at what people are saying about support and resistance.

If you’ve read Beyond the Wall of Resistance or Why Don’t You Want What I Want?, you may recall the three levels of support and resistance that I identify. If not, the short article, Why Resistance Matters is a quick introduction.  Or, read the free e-book, The Magic List, I explain those three levels, and I how you how to create a simple 4-question survey to find out where people’s energy is today.

Stay tuned for answers to the other two questions:

  • How can I tell if their energy moved?
  • What are good away to shift energy from resistance to support?

If you’d like to watch the short animated video, here is the link to The Energy Bar.