Uh-oh! Difficult people, huh? Recalcitrants, all of them! You may be looking at a long road from here, but the journey is still possible. You won’t be the first or the last to turn around a tough situation. Time to go back to basics. Constantly review how you are working with your stakeholders. Take the time to understand them more deeply and sort out how things got this bad. You need to feel all the pain they feel, especially when they are dealing with you. Only then can you start to make out a path forward. This can be exciting. It’s an opportunity to find new solutions to old problems. With some thoughtfulness about how you communicate, the words you choose, the picture you paint and the stories you tell can help you cut through all the history and change their thinking. Give it a crack. You may be pleasantly surprised.

For more in-depth advice, you may like to read my book Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon or sign up to my Persuasive Advisor Program.