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09 March 2011


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Ruud Rietveld

Great post!
I always take great pains trying not to fall into the negativity trap. It's so easy to see a skeptic only as a P-in-the-A. Find out *why* someone is behaving negatively and you already won half the battle. And also, was it Sun-Tzu who wrote: "Know thine enemy"?
You see, negativity is a trap, I fall in even now! :-p

I have also read Fearless Change, and while it is a bit American to me, it has some sound advice on how to sell your ideas and make them better.

Scotty Bevill

I love the "find a skeptic" approach. in my time teaching, I look for the "expert" in the room. These individuals cause others to get involved and break the ice. I try to remember that some people learn visually, some learn linguistically, some are auditory, and some just have to disagree so you'll explain it 10 times until they have an a-ha moment. Either way, i improve, or the rest of the class really does believe what I'm saying now.

Thanks for this one Rachel!

Keith Pitty

Thanks for your post, Rachel.

The idea of embracing a skeptic resonates with me as I strive to improve my argument about the benefits of agile to customers as well as developers. Customers who have little familiarity with the complexities of building software and are used to fixed-price, fixed-scope arrangements are, in my experience, the most difficult to persuade.

And, the fact that this idea comes (partially) from Linda Rising adds weight in my view. I was lucky enough to see her speak a couple of years ago. Memorable!

Thierry CONTER

I confirm that the skeptic is not against you!
Often, he has strong convictions about how to do things right.
In this case, he is open to discussion at the opinions and values level. Once he feels welcomed and respected in his opinions he is ready to hear yours.
Of course he will not change in a glance. He will need first to try on his own and finally adopt some new ideas.

Anthony Green

I think we should endeavour to make a clear distinction between skepticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodological_skepticism) and modern cynicism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism_(contemporary). Skepticism has it's roots in epistemology, and works at establishing what it means to have knowledge as distinct from belief.

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