You have the most amazing idea, and you’re sure it’s going to revolutionize the organization. But when you present it to the team, people are not enthused. What do you do now?

First, and foremost, recognize that you might be wrong. As Kathryn Schulz (a self-described “wrongologist”) says in her TED talk, most people can accept fallibility in the abstract. It’s a lot harder to accept being wrong in real situations. We might be able to embrace our ability to hypothetically be wrong, but we can’t swallow being wrong right now, in the present. As Shulz says, being wrong feels like being right, right up until that moment when you recognize your error. So don’t confuse feeling right with being right. (Watch her entire TED talk; it’s full of brilliance about our attachment to rightness and what to do about it!)

Then, recognize you might be right. People may push back because you’re right and you’ve pushed them past their comfort zone. Or maybe you haven’t really explained yourself well. Or maybe they kind of like the idea, but they aren’t really sure how to sell it to their network. Asking open-ended questions is a good way to explore the possibilities, learn together and influence others. “What problem does this address? What is the greatest opportunity within this idea? What is the greatest risk? Who or what might benefit? If you fast-forward ten years, how might this issue/solution have evolved?”

So what if you’re wrong? Take Schulz’s advice. Consider it yet another plot twist, another time when you thought X would happen and Y happened instead. No big deal, just life.


Bouncing back from being wrong? Discovering new ways to explore potentially great ideas? Comment below or message us here.