Whether your team is floating new ideas during a brainstorming session or seeking approval on a controversial proposal, skepticism is inevitable. But is skepticism an obstacle... or an opportunity?
One important thing to keep in mind about skepticism is that nobody acts skeptical because they like feeling uncertain. On the contrary, people want to believe. But we've all experienced negative consequences from believing in the wrong things. Caution is good: We want to make sure we're investing our limited resources in a workable solution.
But skepticism is also cheap. Nay-saying costs nothing but hot air. So if your team is seriously evaluating an idea you think worth exploring, challenge its skeptics to harness that perfectly natural, healthy, cautious fear of investing in the wrong thing by working to demonstrate why the new plan won't work or the new idea won't pan out. It's too easy to pronounce the new thing DOA because of the first drawback you can think of.Any idea worth actively entertaining is also worth taking the time and effort to actively disprove.