Monday, January 13, 2014

3 Ways To Get A Non-Compliant Onboard

This is me. Not literally but pretty close.

One of my blessings and curses in life is my spirit of non-compliance. Some people call it stubborn. Other people call it determined. Yet others call in innovative. All my life, my non-compliant personality has been both the best and worst thing I have going for me.

On one hand, it has been an enormous tool to inspire me to solutions for many complex challenges I have faced in my life. Additionally, I've been able to channel my non-compliance for the good of many organizations that I have served over the years.

It has also resulted in tremendous frustration as I tried to solve issues that just weren't meant to be solved by me or just plain were not to be solved at all, by anyone. What's saved me is the discernment to know the difference. As I was reflecting recently, I realized that there are ways to move me as a non-compliant and I thought it would be good to share that for others who do life with non-compliant people.  First, let's look at a definition of non-compliant. defines non-compliant this way:

1. n.        a person who refuses or fails to comply
2. adj.     boldly resisting authority or an opposing force

Now let's look at three tactics to help you sway the non-compliant in your life.


The sooner you concede to a non-compliant the better. Surrender in this case is to surrender your need to convince the non-compliant in your life and acknowledge this verbally. Let your non-compliant know that you don't expect them to change their mind but that you will still offer your solution and/or path. First, you will have their attention by just your word choice. Most non-compliant people are deliberate in their language and they appreciate when deliberate language is reciprocated. Second, you've opened the door to choice. Non-compliant people do not like to be cornered and love options. Give them options but keep driving the point you want to make.


When you are up against a non-compliant, most often, they are armed to the hilt with data supporting their stance. Nothing makes a non-compliant more confident that finding validating information to bolster his/her position. However, nothing moves a non-compliant like proof, even if it's proof in their opposition. While they are not likely to just roll over to your position, it is so much easier to have conversations with a non-compliant when you show that you've done your homework and are ready to have an intelligent discussion.  Non-compliant people are first and foremost learners and creators. Learners know that there is always information out there that they don't know. Use that information the next time you have to move a non-compliant in your life.


Bring a non-compliant in by baking ideas together. The whole reason a non-compliant refuses is tied to his/her ability to contribute and see their contribution. Non-compliant people do not just accept things as they are; often times, they like to create the scenario or picture how things could be.  When not given an opportunity to contribute, you can count on non-compliant folks to be disruptive and try to drive change other ways. Collaboration is key and lots of times non-compliant people drive it but they are big supporters when others drive collaboration, too. It gives them much need rest from the helm. It also gives them a chance to learn something new from a different perspective, which is a big value for non-compliant personalities.

Whether your non-compliant is a child in your class or a co-worker on your team, follow one or more of these tactics and you're sure to sway your favorite non-compliant person your way more often.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a vegetarian + feel best by eating this way. Actually, I crave non-animal food choices. Nobody can get me to comply w/eating animals. :)