Have you ever been in a group and noticed that ideas presented from one person are not readily accepted but those same ideas presented from another person in the group are easily received? Have you ever wondered why? Sometimes the person not being heard becomes more forceful in the delivery of their message which almost always backfires.
Adam Grant in the book Originals makes a point that speaks directly to this dynamic. The answer lies in the distinction between Power and Status. He says, “power involves exercising control or authority over others; status is being respected and admired.”
The thought here is that when people exercise power but lacked respect, the message is not well received. This message is perceived to come from a coercive or self serving position.
So whats the answer?
The course of action to follow is to belong to the group first, “status cannot be claimed, it has to be earned or granted,” Adam Grant. The path is to first earn the respect of the group and then drive change from within. Once you are a valued member based on your contribution, your ideas that challenge the norm will receive greater consideration.