Anywhere you go, there is potentially a “tough crowd” waiting. Not the old school “tough crowd” of angry high school bullies trying to steal lunch money, but the older, more refined bully-attitude of the world: the skeptics. There’s cynicism in our lives, whether we like it or not. People have gotten jaded – and sometimes love being snarky – making it difficult to take on new perspectives and change old school business practices through processes like team building.
To stick with the high school metaphor, there are only certain teachers who really succeed at getting into the heads of teenagers. They have the right tools, the right approach and even ask that perfect question. Even though that takes hard work, more often than not, those teachers are regarded as successful in their profession, and they are the teachers remembered by students throughout their lives. Why? Because they got in there and changed things for that young adult, forever.
In that same sense, when you’re trying to change your business – up the game – and you’re met with little more than snarky attitudes and skepticism, perhaps you need to change your game. Sure, you’ve been the expert in your business since it began, but it takes a different type of expertise to get past your employees’ wall of sarcasm and channel that energy into a productive force of innovation.
Team building retreats, workshops and seminars are often met with eye rolls and excuses. Either nobody cares about “trust falls,” or they don’t trust “trust falls.” due to pasty negative experiences with cheesy attempts to build team. Jaded employees don’t want to bond and share feelings, hopes and desires – they want to do their job, go home to “Netflix and Chill,” so to speak. Until they meet a person who really connects with them and knows how to build partnerships and relationship. That’s the game-changer. The person who can activate this (through experiential learning) may not actually be on your team.
Forbes recently highlighted the best parts of “professional skeptic management,” saying that the best teachers are trainers who can:
It typically takes a professional, ‘neutral’ outsider to do this. In short, managing skeptical employees or those with an abundance of snark can be better left to those who specialize in dealing with skeptics. When you’re ready to shake it up at work and you’re faced with that “tough crowd” of skeptics, you can create innovation simply by letting experts handle the snark – while you sit back and watch your team go from snark to success.