I was running a sustainability workshop for the executive board of a major client yesterday. Despite there only being 7 (sometimes 8) people in the room, the reactions were honest and varied. Initially one attendee said "this is nothing to do with me" and another "we're all going to hell on a handcart and there's nothing we can do about it" - the two extremes of denial. By the end of the session, both these people (and their colleagues) were fired up to act, but there wasn't a neat progression - the buy-in ebbed and flowed like waves on a rising tide. While one person made a step forward, another would be retracting slightly, but overall the motion was in the right direction.
It struck me on the train on the way home that we're all on a personal journey when it comes to sustainability, climate change and all the rest. There is a tendency for those who 'get it' to berate those who don't. This will achieve nothing, or worse, push people into a more defensive position. We need to help people find the way forward, make them feel comfortable with what they are doing and confident to make the next steps.
So as well as working on our own footprint, it is essential to bring someone with us.