Convenient Fears?

Posted on June 9, 2010

In our Intelligent Disobedience workshops we encounter many people who are looking for new and improved techniques for influencing others, communicating critical needs and dealing with emotionally charged issues. For most, the techniques we present do not disappoint. Others, however, will come to our workshops looking for a risk-free approach or guarantees that they will get results that they feel are positive. In many of those cases, our attendees are holding onto inflated, extreme expectations of what “bad will happen” should they try something out of the ordinary, or challenge a person in a leadership role with a new idea. These fears – such as being fired on the spot – are in the vast majority of instances exaggerated visions of consequences that have a very low probability of occurring. Yet, they serve a purpose for the person who is hesitant to “stick their neck out” and try something new…these fears conveniently allow them to be safe, “not make waves” and as a result – underperform at work (and potentially in their personal relationships as well).

We aren’t targeting this blog entry to those that hold these “convenient fears”; this is an appeal to those who read this blog that are leaders. How many good ideas are you missing because of hesitant followers? What aspect of your processes and procedures could be improved if your staff members spoke up about changing long held and treasured business practices?

A potentially huge opportunity awaits here– if you can set the right example, respond favorably to criticism and new ideas, and reduce the fear by embracing new approaches.

Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at