Rebels at Work: DISCUSSION GUIDE 1
Good Rebels, Great Work
What might be possible if I become a more effective rebel at work?
• What makes you want to learn about being a more effective rebel at work at
• If you were more successful at creating change at work, how might your life
change? How might your work change? Your organization?
• What stops people from creating better ways to work? What stops you?
• What might be possible if there were fewer bureaucratic or work politics
problems in your organization? What is allowing those problems to fester?
What can I do so that more people listen to my ideas and take them
• What’s most important to your boss? What is she afraid of? What does she
need to make decisions? What annoys her? How might you build a better
relationship so that she would support your ideas and guide you on how to
make them real?
• Who are your greatest allies at work? Who would you like to have as an ally?
What steps can you take to develop that relationship?
Rebels at Work:
Rebels at Work: DISCUSSION GUIDE 2
• What is the best way to create a rebel alliance at work? Who shares an
interest in the ideas you’d like to see move forward? What’s the easiest way
to start talking about these ideas and support one another?
• Are you considered trustworthy? What might you be able to do to improve
your reputation so that people take you and your ideas seriously?
Navigating the Organizational Landscape
What do I need to know about how things work at work?
• Which people at work know how to get a new idea approved and funded?
What makes them successful? What can you learn from them? How might
you get to know them better so that you can learn more from them?
• What kinds of new ideas do people pay attention to in your workplace? What
proposals usually get dismissed?
• What is most valued in your organization? Is there a way to link your idea to
• What influential Bureaucratic Black Belts (BBBs) are most likely to resist or
discredit your idea? What is most important to these people and how might
that affect how they view your proposal? How can you get to know and
understand these individuals so that you can better work together?
• What are the three most important things for you to learn about navigating
your organizational culture?
Communicating Your Ideas
How can I get people to understand my idea and lend their support?
• What important problem or opportunity does your idea address?
• How would things be different if the idea succeeds? How would people feel
as a result of these changes?
• Suppose your boss says that she will approve your project today if you can
briefly explain the most important milestones on the road to success. Could
• Who might want to support the idea and get involved? What’s the best way
to connect with these potential first followers? How might you go about
getting 10% of the people in your organization behind the idea?
• Are you communicating in a positive way that attracts people to your cause?
• What signals and cues are most helpful to you in gauging whether people
understand, support, or dislike your change ideas?
Rebels at Work: DISCUSSION GUIDE 3
How do I navigate disagreement and controversy in a positive way?
• Think of someone you know who is especially good at remaining calm and
positive when work conversations get heated. What does he or she do well
in these situations?
• If you were better at having difficult conversations, what would be different
for you at work? What might you be able to accomplish?
• What would help you better deal with controversy and conflict? What two or
three practices might be most valuable?
• How might you improve how you guide conversations during controversial
meetings so that you achieve your meeting goal?
• What questions are most useful to use when you’re discussing controversial
• The risks are formidable when you get into the conflict stage. Is your idea
worth what’s at risk to you? How do you know?
• Have you anticipated the tough questions?
Dealing with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
How can I manage my emotions so that they don’t lead me into trouble?
• What fears hold you back from leading change at work? How realistic are
these fears? What might you be able to can do to reduce the risks
associated with each of these fears?
• What’s your give-up line? What is happening around you when you start
using it? Now that you know what it is, what can you do differently when
you hear yourself start to say it?
• What hidden assumptions might be blocking you from achieving what’s
especially important at work? How can you test those assumptions to see if
they’re really true?
• What are your strongest character strengths? How might you use those
strengths to increase your confidence and effectiveness?
Rebels at Work: DISCUSSION GUIDE 4
Caring for Your Rebel Soul at Work
What can I do to take care of myself and prevent burn out?
• What warning signs tell you that you’re in danger of burning out? What is
especially important for you to pay attention to?
• What practices might help you become more resilient? More positive?
• What friends can provide you with clear guidance and honest, caring
• How will you know it’s time to quit?
• What questions will you use to find the right boss? The right organization?
If You Are a Boss
How can I be a better manager of rebels in my organization?
• When you think about rebels, what biases come up for you?
• What might be different if you viewed rebels as allies?
• If you asked your employees what 3 things are most important for the
organization to accomplish this year, would they be easily able to name
• On a scale of 1 to 10, how safe do people in your organization feel it is to
disagree? What could you do to make it safer for people to have honest
conversations about issues important to your goals?
• What habits are you developing so that new ideas are not an event, but part
of how you and your team work?
• Who are the rebels in your organization? Are they doing the right work?
• What kind of coaching do team members need from you to learn how to sell
new ideas to the organization?
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