Episode 182 – How GREAT is your Resistance? Changing a No to a Yes

Original Air Date

Run Time

32 Minutes
Home Manage This Podcast Episode 182 – How GREAT is your Resistance? Changing a No to a Yes

About This Episode

Patrick Veroneau

When we present a request to our team, we want everybody to say yes, but some team members are going to say no and offer resistance. If we can identify the reasons why people say no, we can be more effective in getting them to follow our requests. Patrick Veroneau introduces us to an acronym called GREAT to understand the resistance we may be facing from our team. He explains the five resistors: goodwill, reactance, expertise or experience, apathy, and trust, and how you can respond to these resistors.

Patrick also refers to a model called CABLES which focuses on six effective leadership behaviors necessary to build strong relationships and inspire others to follow. Listen in as Patrick explains how each of the CABLES behaviors provides an opportunity to build a stronger bridge between a project manager and the team, and how an offshoot of effective leadership is being able to inspire other people to say yes to our requests.

Patrick is the founder of Emery Leadership and Sales Group, which focuses on helping employees and organizations bridge the gap between engagement and excellence. He held his first management position with a division of Van Huesen Corp. at 21. He spent over 15 years in the biopharma industry in sales, training, and leadership development. He continues to develop and refine leadership and sales models that blend evidence-based research and theory with what happens in the real world.


Favorite Quotes from Episode

"…if it’s myself that’s going to benefit from them doing all the work and really not showing any type of appreciation for …what they’re having to do or how this is going to impact them …then that immediately starts to build resistance."

Patrick Veroneau

"…when those needs are satisfied, we have a reward response, which means we become more collaborative. …We’re more involved in something. When those social needs are violated, if they’re absent, then what happens is we become disengaged."

Patrick Veroneau

The podcast by project managers for project managers. If we can identify the reasons why people say no, we can be more effective in getting them to follow our requests. Patrick Veroneau introduces an acronym called GREAT to understand the resistance we may be facing from our team. An offshoot of effective leadership is being able to inspire other people to say yes to our requests.

Table of Contents

00:32 … Rise Against Hunger
01:57 … Meet Patrick
03:39 … Six Principles of Influence
05:49 … Signs of Resistance
07:02 … Goodwill
09:21 … SCARF
13:07 … Reactance
14:56 … Self-Awareness
16:41 … Expertise
18:46 … Build Credibility
20:55 … Kevin and Kyle
22:02 … Apathy
24:51 … Trust and CABLES
26:16 … Congruence
27:22 … Appreciation
27:35 … Belongingness
27:48 … Listening
28:22 … Empathy
28:37 … Specifics
30:45 … Contact Patrick
32:15 … Closing

Rise Against Hunger

WENDY GROUNDS:  We visited Rise Against Hunger as a company, Velociteach, and we did some meal packing there.  We packed over 1,080 meals that were sent to – I think these ones were going to Zimbabwe.


WENDY GROUNDS:  But it was going to people who are not in the position to just be able to get food as easily as it is for us.  Rise Against Hunger is an amazing organization.  They target remote communities with hunger pockets, and they send their packages of food there.

BILL YATES:  We had such a great time as a team preparing these, you know, helping put these meals together, packaging them.  And we ended up with all these boxes of packaged meals ready to go.  It was so fun for the team to be together.  It was a team-building event with a purpose.  Those are our favorites.

WENDY GROUNDS:  I highly recommend it as a team-building event.  I think that was really fun.  Everybody really pulled together.  We packaged a bit too quickly, almost.  We were so excited about doing this that we got finished too quickly, and then we had to wash dishes; didn’t we.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  But there’s nothing better in terms of bonding than seeing your coworkers wearing hair nets.  It was just…

WENDY GROUNDS:  Oh yeah.  Oh yeah.


WENDY GROUNDS:  You’re listening to Manage This, the podcast by project managers for project managers.  I’m Wendy Grounds, and with me in the studio is Bill Yates and Danny Brewer.

We’re talking to Patrick Veroneau today.  And he’s the founder of the Emery Leadership and Sales Group, and they focus on helping employees and organizations bridge the gap between engagement and excellence.  He had his first management position with a division of Van Heusen Corporation, and he spent over 15 years in the biopharma industry in sales training and leadership development.  He continues to develop and refine leadership and sales models that blend evidence-based research and theory with what happens in the real world.  And what happens in the real world is often we’re trying to lead or to manage people on our projects, and we get resistance.  And so we’re going to be talking about that resistance today.

Meet Patrick

Hi, Patrick.  Welcome to Manage This.  We’re so glad you’re here today.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Oh, thank you so much for the opportunity to be on the podcast.  Always great to talk about resistance.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Yeah.  First of all, tell us about your company, Emery Leadership Group, and what inspired you to start it.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  So Emery Leadership Group is primarily an organization that helps other organizations to develop better leaders and really to become more productive.  If you don’t have good leaders, right, if you don’t have people that can inspire other people to say yes to requests, then it’s very difficult to, I think, be as effective as you could be.  And there’s a lot of research in terms of what are the things that inspire individuals to want to say yes to our requests.  And that’s all that leadership is.  It’s an offshoot of influence to be able to lead people effectively.

And that really is my background was in biotech for over 15 years.  I was a sales rep.  I was involved in training.  I managed.  And the benefit of that, in being in that industry in particular, was that all of the things that we did were focused around what’s the research that suggests that this is the approach that a provider should take with their patients, whether it was cardiovascular or oncology.

And I had the opportunity to take that same approach in regards to leadership development, saying that there’s research that backs up why we make certain decisions.  If we leverage that, it doesn’t work all the time, just like treatments don’t always work, but there is a pattern that you can follow in terms of, if you behave in certain ways, the outcomes can be much more predictable.  I took the same approach again to leadership and also sales training, which is what I started at.

Six Principles of Influence

BILL YATES:  Patrick, we were talking just before we started recording, there was someone early in your career that influenced that.  And when we talk about “yes” versus “no,” it’d be interesting, I think, for people to know that background.  Talk a bit about the person that influenced you.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  So while I was in the pharmaceutical industry, again, I had access to a lot of trainings and was always sort of looking for how do I continue to sort of develop my skills?  And to me, I thought, well, we sell science.  Why not understand the science behind influence to be able to be more effective at doing our jobs? 

And there was a gentleman out of Arizona State University, a world expert in influence named Robert Cialdini, who’s written a number of books in that space.  And I was able to go through his workshops.  Most of his stuff is best known for the six principles of influence that he identified through all of his research, which are around things like liking and scarcity and authority and consensus, where those are our activators for us.  They’re almost like pulling levers for individuals to get them to say yes to our requests.

And what always stood out to me was we talked about it in a way of ethical influence; right?  These same tools can be used either way.  And you see it quite often when people do the wrong things.  Bernie Madoff is somebody that’s probably an example that most know about that, if you were to go back and look at the tools of influence, he used many of those influence principles, but just for the wrong reason.

So for me, the challenge that I found was these are great principles, right, the six principles of why people say yes.  But what I was finding and experiencing and I know for myself is that oftentimes I start from the place of wanting to say no; that I needed to get past that hurdle first.  And if I understood the reason why somebody was probably saying no, or what might prompt them to say no to a request, then at least for me what I found and what I was developing in those people that I was working with was that identifying the reasons why people say no allowed me then to decide which of the six principles probably would be more effective to use ethically to get them to follow my request.

Signs of Resistance

BILL YATES:  One of the things I want to talk with you about is formal authority and informal authority because project managers often have to lead people, even when they don’t have official authority over them.  Those team members don’t report to the project manager.  This can lead to resistance; you know?  I mean, that’s my nature.  If I have two bosses, so to speak, an official boss, and I’ve got somebody that I’m supposed to report to on a project, you know which way I’m going to lean, you know, which way is best for me.  That’s the manager I’m going to listen to.  So how can we recognize the signs of resistance from our team members, if it’s related to this idea of informal authority?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Sure.  So there’s an acronym that I use called GREAT.  And the reason I created that is because, to me, the question that I would ask myself, and still do in the work that I do, is how great is my resistance?  So I’m almost – having to answer that question then tells me where I’m going to go from there because that’s what we deal with is resistance.  So the GREAT model is an acronym for five resisters, the first one being goodwill, the next one being reactance, the next one being expertise or experience, the next one being apathy, and the last one being trust.


WENDY GROUNDS:  I think this is an excellent model for us to just go a little deeper and to discover what you mean by each one of these.  So let’s look at goodwill first.  Can you give us examples in ways that we can demonstrate that our request is in the best interest of the person that we’re putting that request to?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  So goodwill really is about a feeling as though what you’re asking me to do doesn’t just benefit you; right?  If I’m managing a group, and I’m asking them to complete a project for me, if it’s myself that’s going to benefit from them doing all the work and really not showing any type of appreciation for them and what they’re having to do or how this is going to impact them, as well, then that immediately starts to build resistance.

So if you think about the industry that I came from where, if I’m asking a provider to use a certain treatment, they’re often thinking first, is this really what’s best for my patient, or is this what’s best for your quota?  That’s goodwill, and we need to be able to demonstrate that; right?  And if I just came in with the “This is what you should use,” oftentimes the providers are going to be thinking, wait a minute, I know that benefits you.  You’re going to benefit from this.  But is it really what’s in the best interest of what my patient needs, or what we’re trying to do here as an oncology unit?  There’s a big difference there.

BILL YATES:  There is a big difference.  Recently we had a conversation with a PMI fellow, Ricardo Vargas, and he was bringing up the phrase that we use all the time is, “What’s in it for me?”  And we have to think as project managers, okay, obviously I know what’s in it for me.  Maybe this makes me eligible for bigger, more influential projects in the future if this one goes well.  But what about my team members?  What’s in it for them?  I really need to think about that as I pitch this project and bring people onboard to be a part of the team.

Or maybe the team’s already moving along, and I’ve just been named as the new project manager.  I need to take the time to figure out what’s in it for them and then connect with them on that and communicate that with them; right?  You know, because you’re right.  It’s like, at first, I’ve been a team member on projects before.  I’m usually skeptical to start with and going, “Okay, am I going to get burned out on this project just so this person who’s the leader gets all the glory or the bonus or whatever?”  So, you know, that’s important.


PATRICK VERONEAU:   Yeah.  So if you don’t mind, I think this is probably a good place to bring in, too, there’s another acronym or another model that, again, I think is very relevant, and I see it used more and more, and it’s called SCARF.  And this was identified and developed by a researcher out of Australia named David Rock, a neuroscientist.  And I first read about it in 2008 and have found it to be relevant and something that I use consistently ever since COVID, as well.  I found it to be even more important.

SCARF talks about five domains of social needs that we have.  It talks about it in a way that says when those needs are satisfied, we have a reward response, which means we become more collaborative.  We move more engaged.  We’re more involved in something.  When those social needs are violated, if they’re absent, then what happens is we become disengaged.  We move away from something.  We’re not as collaborative; right?  So if we think about project management, we need collaboration.

And SCARF is about status.  It’s about certainty.  It’s about autonomy.  And it’s about relatedness.  It’s about fairness.  And just in this conversation we’re talking about, I mean, I can think of status, autonomy, and fairness being very relevant to a lot of what goes on in management.

BILL YATES:  This is so true, and I think for many of our project managers who have suffered through studying for the PMP exam to get certified as a project manager, they can relate to this.  It may have been boxed as Maslow’s hierarchy or Herzberg’s gene theories, those kind of things.  But we know this to be true about humans, right, and these social needs.  These are things we have to address if we want to influence people or have them come onboard and buy into our plan.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re meeting those needs.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  So if we think about status, right, status is about a feeling of value or importance or being recognized.  Really important; right?  If I don’t create an environment in a team where people feel as though, and it’s not about a title, that they feel respected and appreciated, then I’m going to violate the first social need.

Certainty is the next one.  If I’m working with a group, and I don’t have a clear agenda in terms of where we’re going, what the expectations are of the group, and who’s going to be responsible for what, again, we run into another need that could be missing here; right?  And if you think about going to meetings that aren’t organized, we don’t want to show up.  It’s like a waste of our time when we feel like these things aren’t going to go well.

Autonomy is the next one; right?  We want to feel as though we have some control over our destiny.  And what I mean by that is that if I show up to a meeting, I certainly, even if I do need to take direction, I don’t want to feel as though I’m just being told what to do, and I have no say in what this is; right?  So that’s the autonomy part of this.

The next one is relatedness.  And I think this is really important as a project manager, as you try and create a sense of cohesion with the group, that people feel as though they belong to this group.  There’s a sense of team here.  We need relatedness because if we don’t feel connected to the group that we’re with, it’s easy for us to not feel badly if we let somebody else down, if we don’t follow through on what our needs are, because it’s like a group that I don’t feel a connection with anyway.

And then the last one is fairness.  It needs to be equitable; right?  So if I feel in this group that the responsibilities aren’t shared with some sense of equity, again, we run into problems.  I use this model continuously in the work that I do with leaders and supervisors because, if you don’t understand the social needs that people have below you, you’re going to violate these, and you’re going to create more problems for yourself.


WENDY GROUNDS:  Another aspect, so if we’re looking at the GREAT model, we’ve done goodwill.  The next one is reactance.  Now, this one, I must confess, I was reading your outline of what this one is, and I thought, “Oh, I’ve done that.”  You know, sometimes, especially in my younger days, people will ask you to do something, or you’re asking teammates to do something, and you just automatically get a “no” because of the way that this request is approached.  And it just rubs people the wrong way.  Can you explain a little bit more about reactance?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  So if we think back to SCARF already, right, if I’ve created an environment where I’ve violated autonomy for somebody, I’m telling them what to do without any input from them to say, “How do you think you can do this?” or “This is what needs to be done.  This is what I’d like to see happen.  How does that fit?”  Right?  We’re going to end up probably in the same place.  But if you feel as though you’ve had an ability to weigh in on how that’s going to be done, we’re going to be a lot better.  I’m not going to resist as much.

If I feel like you’ve disrespected me, so from a status standpoint, you will create reactance.  If your tone toward me, how you’ve addressed me, if you’ve embarrassed me in front of a group, all of those things can play in.  That can create reactance.  If I think it’s unfair here, if I feel like, in terms of this group, I’m always the one that’s sort of on the outside.  I’m part of the out group here.  I don’t have the same chumminess or camaraderie that goes on, and now all of a sudden you’re asking something that is going to carry a lot of the weight for this group, again, you’re going to experience reactance. 

Those are some of the ways that that comes in.  So you can see how SCARF now understanding what those social needs are plays directly into understanding what are some of the reasons that somebody would react naturally.


BILL YATES:  Patrick, it’s so interesting to me to hear Wendy’s response on that because when I read it, I had a different thought.  And my thought was, I kind of visualized myself looking in the mirror, and how truthful, how self-aware am I?  How truthful am I with myself?  And if I walk into a room, there may be resistance that I’m not aware of because they’re reacting to something in our history, something in our past, a past interaction, or a missed opportunity I had to shine the light on great performance.  It could have been a social media post.  You know, you didn’t recognize that my kid won this trophy.  Or it could be so many different things.

And I think for leaders who may be struggling with, well, I don’t know, you know, I’m not sure if the team’s mad at me or has some kind of chip on their shoulder, I started thinking about, “Okay, you need a mentor.  You need a professional mentor or a peer, somebody within the organization that could give you some feedback.”  Or it might be a best friend.  It might be a spouse.  It might be some trusted individual. 

But this is touchy-feely.  This is like, okay, I need somebody to say to me, “Hey, you know, when you speak with this tone, or when you walk into the room and do this, it’s off-putting.  And here’s the message that it’s sending.  You may not be aware of that.”  That’s tough to hear, but I feel like this is an area where it kind of raises that to me as this could be the reason for a “no” that I’m getting.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  Self-awareness is huge here; right?  So when we talk about emotional intelligence, you know, one of those things that oftentimes I think gets confused with touchy-feely, and it’s probably one of the strongest skill sets you can develop is to be emotionally aware of the environment that you’re in.  Not only how I show up, but also being aware of how other people show up.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Or you can just imagine you’re talking to three-year-olds.  Everything’s a no.  Just you’re going to get a no.  Playing hard to get that yes.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  I answer well to candy, too, so.


WENDY GROUNDS:  The next one is expertise.  So project managers, sometimes they have resistance because they don’t have the expertise.  So how can they overcome that?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  An important one; right?  And I see this in management as well as an individual that takes on a team that has a lot of senior individuals.  And those individuals are almost testing for weakness in this individual.  I think there’s almost a counterintuitive approach here of approaching people, of saying what your experience is and expertise is and what it isn’t, as well.  So that let’s just get it out on the table right now in terms of where my experience is.

That said, and I run into this quite a bit in the work that I do because I can go into a shipbuilder that I’m running into individuals to say that you have no idea what it’s like to work in shipbuilding.  And then I can go into a hospital that they’re saying the same thing.  How do you know what we’re dealing with?  And I have to be able to manage that to say that, yeah, I don’t understand specifically, but here are some of the experience that I have had that transcend or can translate into what the responsibility of this job is.  To me, there’s almost a benefit at times of not having the same type of knowledge because I look at things through a different lens.  That’s the benefit of this.

Again, the industry that I’m in, if you think about an illness, right, and you have to go to a physician, if I had cancer, I wouldn’t only go to an oncologist that had the type of cancer that I had.  I wouldn’t say, well, no, you don’t understand my cancer.  You need to have this cancer first before you understand it.  You wouldn’t do that because you know that this individual has studied this type of cancer and understands how it behaves, the underlying impact of it.

And it’s the same work that I do.  I don’t understand everything that somebody else does, but my focus is on the human nature component, the behavioral component.  That is fairly predictable, we’ll say “Predictably Irrational” at times, in terms of how people show up.

Build Credibility

BILL YATES:  Nice.  That’s an excellent book, too.  Yeah, yeah.  You know, Patrick, to me, when I thought about this, project managers are in a unique place to deal with this area of resistance.  The project manager, just by the nature of that role, that person should know more about the project than any other single person.  Now, there are certainly areas where I was leading a project, and I had subject matter experts that were deep into the code, into the database structure, into the, in my case it was financial software, so into the gap accounting or the IRS regulations or SEC controls.  They knew that.  They were the tax specialists or the financial specialists.  But overall I knew the project; right?

So I think the project manager, one way to overcome this resistance of, you know, you show up, and you’ve got people that have their doctorates and are deep, deep, deep in terms of years of experience with whatever that area is, you can say, “Listen, I totally depend on you, and you’re part of the subteam for these areas of the project.  Let me explain how all the pieces fit together.  Let me tell you how the customer’s going to react.”  So there are things that that project manager knows that I think naturally build credibility and overcome that resistance because you know, there is that position.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah, without question.  The other part of this, too, is if I’ve got individuals on a team that are the ones that create the most challenge for me, they’re sort of the ones that they’re the most friction, I would take a divide and conquer response or approach with them is that I meet with them individually and ask for their help.  I’m not going to do that in front of the group.  I’m going to do that one-on-one because one-on-one we generally behave different than what happens in a group.

And if, you know, Wendy, if it was you and I, and we’re kind of challenged right now, and I might come to you and say, “Wendy, you know, I know I’m leading this project.  I know that there have been some challenges between us.  But I’m going to ask for your help on this in terms of being able to navigate through this.  And is this something that I can count on you to be able to do?  Or if there are issues that you’re having with me, can we talk about those now to figure out how we’re going to move?”  Because I know you want this project to succeed, or we all want the same thing here on some level.  I need to find that common ground.

Kevin and Kyle

KEVIN RONEY: Do you struggle to communicate bad news? Are you frequently repairing broken communications? Nothing is more important to the success of a project than effective communication. Project Managers spend 90% of their time communicating to project sponsors, team members, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.

KYLE CROWE: If you think about it Kevin, as you report project status, share lessons learned, set expectations, or present earned value, the real work of leadership is always in the communication. How do you prioritize developing an effective communication plan on your projects? Consider this quote: “until I deliver the product to the customer, communication is my deliverable”.  With that in mind, how do you prioritize a project communications plan?

KEVIN RONEY: Velociteach offers a course on communication titled:  Communications Excellence: Driving Project Success. This course will teach you the best communication practices that make the top project managers successful. It also includes templates and techniques that you can immediately apply to your projects.

KYLE CROWE: Take a look at Communications Excellence to evaluate your current communications skills, get help on how to communicate effectively, achieve credibility, and get buy-in on your projects.


BILL YATES:  Patrick, the next area of resistance, the “no” may come from apathy, to me this is a real challenge.  You may have team members that are really gung-ho and onboard about the project.  They see the big picture.  They’re excited about it.  But then you have others that are dealing with apathy.  How do you identify it?  What are some steps that we can take to deal with those people?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  You know, on some level, we’re all creatures of habit.  We don’t like change.  We like the change that we know is going to benefit us, but overall we don’t, we generally don’t like change.  And we get comfortable in our ways.  And apathy is a real driver in that, or I would say a non-driver at times.  What I have found, again, we spend a lot of times talking about the benefits of what we’ll experience by making the change.  And I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that.  But again, I look to the six principles here.

One of the six principles is around scarcity.  It talks about that we are more motivated to avoid a loss than a gain.  And Dan Kahneman wrote a fantastic book a number of years ago called “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” which is all about behavioral economics and talks about, again, the irrationality of how we make decisions.  And one of those, again, is that it’s been well-documented that we’re more motivated to avoid a loss than a gain.

So with that said, there’s a strategy that I would try and employ there where I would look to what do we risk losing by not making a change?  As opposed to what are we going to gain here?  What’s the benefit of doing this, of implementing this new software or new procedure or bringing in this new piece of machinery, whatever it is, there are benefits clearly that we’re going to gain from them. 

But I would try and find ways to identify what we’re going to lose if we don’t make this change.  It’s going to put us further behind in terms of competitive advantage.  It’s going to reduce the ability for us to attract better talent, whatever those things are.  But if we can find out what’s at risk by not making the change, to me that often can be a better approach to try and overcome apathy.

BILL YATES:  Looking for that purpose behind our project is always important.  And I think it’s important to remind the project leaders, sometimes you may be completely onboard with it.  You get it.  You’ve got to communicate the reason for the project to the other team members.


BILL YATES:  To your point, Patrick, you’ve got to let them know, “Hey, here’s the reason we’re doing this.”  It’s not necessarily the positive that comes out of it.  It’s what we’re trying to avoid or what we don’t want to happen.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  And let’s face it, especially if it’s my idea, I am gung-ho.  I have already thought of all the benefits that are going to come from this.  Not everybody comes from that same place.  So I need to recognize that, that just because it’s my excitement doesn’t mean it’s everybody else’s excitement.

Trust and CABLES

WENDY GROUNDS:  Which leads us to trust.  So if you have someone who is apathetic, if they can trust you, you might get them a little bit more compelled to do what needs to be done.  So how can you develop trust?  What’s your advice about that?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  So trust to me is all about behaviors.  And I’m going to throw one more acronym out there because I think we’re ready for it.  It’s CABLES.  CABLES is one that, in the book that I wrote called “The Leadership Bridge,” is again about six research behaviors that we can demonstrate.  And if you think about our interactions with each other, we’re always building bridges, or we’re taking them down.  Each person you are interacting with, you can think of it as an individual bridge.  And just like the Golden Gate Bridge, the way that it’s been designed, I believe it’s about a three-foot cable that runs tower to tower, which actually is over 20,000 individually wrapped cables.

And to me, that’s no different than our relationships with each other is that the more we behave in ways that are positive, the stronger those cables become, the more strain and stress at times this relationship can withstand because we’ve proactively demonstrated positive behaviors for a long period of time and built this bridge no different than the Golden Gate.  If I were to cut a hundred of those cables, nothing is going to happen to that bridge.  It will need to be repaired, but there’s enough additional cables there that this thing is structurally sound.


And I think if we look at our relationships the same way, there are six behaviors.  Now, could there be eight?  Are there really four?  Could be, but I have found six to be very valuable.  And also in terms of the imagery that I convey when I’m working with individuals is imagine that you’re adding cables.  That’s what you’re doing with this relationship.  And the more you behave in certain ways, you do that.  And the acronym is based on congruence or let’s say alignment to walking the talk.  That’s the first one.  Appreciation is the second cable.  Belongingness is the third cable.  Listening is the fourth cable.  Empathy is the fifth cable.  And the sixth cable is specifics or clear expectations.

And to me, when we behave in those ways consistently, you naturally create a trusting environment because congruence really is about walking the talk.  Is what I say and what I do the same thing.  If we’re in alignment there, then I’ve already strengthened that cable because you know that what I say and what I do is going to be the same.  So there’s trust there.


Appreciation is about recognizing other people for their input and efforts.  And I think on a team, the more consistently I can do that, right, that I recognize people for their contributions, again, we’re creating trust when that happens.


Belongingness is just what it sounds like; right?  I’m creating an environment where people feel included in what’s going on.  And if you feel as though you belong to something, and you’re included in it, it naturally starts to build trust.


Listening to me is one that is vitally important here is that when you really activate listening and are truly invested in listening to somebody else, that in and of itself starts to build trust.  And we can all think of those situations we’ve been in where we know somebody that we’ve been speaking to on maybe some very difficult conversations or challenges when they are fully invested in listening to us, they’re not just listening so that they can respond after we’re done. They’re truly trying to be curious and understand where we’re coming from.


Which then leads into empathy.  I think, on a team, if I can imagine what it’s like to be somebody new that got appointed on this team. What is that like for this person?  How would I receive this if this is what was being asked of me?


And then lastly, when we have clear expectations, specifics, do we understand what we need from each other?  And of all the things when I come in and work with organizations that are having difficulty within team members or within each other, it usually traces back a root cause as oftentimes back to not having clear expectations.  We don’t know what we need from each other.  We think we do, but we really haven’t clarified what we need from each other and how important that is.  And when we’re demonstrating those on a consistent basis, we’re building that level of trust. And we can think of it in terms of a trust bridge that we build with somebody else.

BILL YATES:  Patrick, that’s helpful.  CABLES build trust.

WENDY GROUNDS:  I like the way it ties.  All the problems with resistance can be overcome if you go through the steps of the CABLES.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah.  Yeah, and they really do go together. If you think about it because the better I am at demonstrating CABLES, the more consistently I do that, then naturally it starts to allow me to address the challenges that I might run into in GREAT.

BILL YATES:  This is such good stuff, Patrick.  I wish you had spoken to me in my mid-20s when I was just clueless.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Don’t we all?


PATRICK VERONEAU:  Don’t we all.

BILL YATES:  It’s like, this would have been so helpful.  And it’s so helpful for me for you to flip it and go, all right, yeah, we want everybody to say yes. But let’s talk about why some team members are going to say no.  What’s the basis for that response?  And then what are some strategies to apply to it?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  If you think about it, especially if I’m the person that is enthusiastic about this project, I can have blinders on that I don’t recognize that other people might not be as enthusiastic about this.  So if I think about it from the standpoint of how great is my resistance here?  How great is my resistance?  I can start to go through it.  Is there potential to be an issue with goodwill here?  Is reactants going to be potentially an issue that maybe I have people that are being forced on this team that don’t really want to be here.  And that’s going to create going back to SCARF, a level of autonomy that’s been violated for them, where they’re a prisoner on this team.  They’re not somebody that’s here willingly.  I think it’s important to recognize that because I need to be able to address that.

Contact Patrick

WENDY GROUNDS:  It’s been wonderful talking with you, Patrick.  Last thing is, if our audience wants to reach out to you, if they have further questions, where should they go?

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Sure.  The best place to find me is on LinkedIn.  Again, Patrick Veroneau.  Probably the easiest place to get me.  I also have a website, which is Emery Leadership Group, and it’s EmeryLeadershipGroup.com.  You can find me there.  And there are downloads that you can get.  There’s one that I have on LinkedIn, as well, about eight questions you can ask in terms of how effective you are leading, and it talks about CABLES.  Give you a little test there to be able to ask yourself some questions in terms of how you show up.  So that can be valuable.

And then get my book on Amazon.  It’s also audio, as well, so it’s on Audible.  If you’re a listener, which I find myself doing more lately in terms of audiobooks versus reading, you can certainly get me in either spot.

BILL YATES:  Thank you for this information, Patrick.  This is, again, it’s so helpful to project managers.

PATRICK VERONEAU:  Yeah, thank you for the opportunity.  I love to have these type of conversations because I really do feel as though we can do better.  And it doesn’t take a lot.  It’s just little things here and there.  If we understand how to apply them, they can make our jobs so much easier and enjoyable.  And again, to me, whether you’re thinking about SCARF or GREAT or CABLES, what I really love about this, as well, is that this is not something that just impacts you in a work environment.  This is regardless of the type of relationship you’re in, social needs, SCARF is present, whether it’s at home or in the community or in a work setting.  You all have them.


WENDY GROUNDS:  That’s it for us here on Manage This.  Thank you for joining us.  You can visit us at Velociteach.com, where you can subscribe to this podcast and see a complete transcript of the show.

You just earned your free PDUs by listening to this podcast.  To claim them, go to Velociteach.com.  Choose Manage This Podcast from the top of the page.  Click the button that says Claim PDUs and click through the steps.  Until next time, keep calm and Manage This.


  1. Tayo Akinfisoye Avatar
  2. Sandeep Avatar
    1. Wendy Grounds Avatar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


0.5 Power Skills

Podcast PDUs

Step-by-step guide to getting PDU credit with PMI for listening to our podcast.

Subscribe to Podcast

Stay connected and get notified of every new episode through Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe to Email

Join our PM community and select the types of updates you’d like to receive.

Recent Episodes