Language And Influence .... Neutralizing Resistance
Have you ever had one of those days ....
that left you
wondering if the
whole world ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed?ۥ
And no matter who you talked to, or what you said ... it was the wrong
thing? Or every time you opened your mouth it felt like there was a foot
waiting to leap in
... and it wasn't always your own?
Sometimes we all need a way to by-pass judgmental thinking, to
neutralize the resistance others feel when confronted with a different point of view,
our point of view. Or especially when we're asking others
in some way.
On the other hand, I have to confess
to recalling days when my personal modus operandi was
‘Save time, see it my way!ۥ
Let's face it, we've all been there, haven't we? Days when unbridled enthusiasm
for our own ideas gets in the way, unleashing passionate resistance in
everyone we encounter.
Suddenly you're faced with a wall of objections
so thick you could cut it with a knife. And you begin to
wonder if you'll ever get back on neutral territory. Have you ever hand a day like that?
Ever wondered how it happens and even more important, how we can prevent it from
So what is going
Chances are ... your enthusiasm has been stepping on other people's
beliefs, or worse, their values. Whether it's something you
intended or purely unintentional, you're questioning their perception of how the
world is supposed to be. We all do it sometimes, don't we?
Can you prevent it?
How do you get your ideas across in a way that is effective and
non-threatening? Navigate through the mind field of resistance so that
others will at least consider what you have to say, before making up
Here's a sequence for you to test.
The next occasion when you're faced with the potential for resistance, can you -
PAUSE - and ask yourself to avoid talking in
and blanket generalizations. And then begin using
language to soften what you have to say.
What I mean by
“We have the best product/service/track record in this
"Nothing can beat us for service/quality/planning/long term growth ...."
"Only our product can deliver ...."
Typical sales speak? Yes, and pretty easy to spot.
These are a little
more covert, yet just as risky ...
“Anyone can see there are clear advantages to ...doing it this way.” (my
“The only solution is to ....” (followed by our solution)
“That claim was totally unjustified.”
“Everyone knows it isn't going to work.”
“It has to be done this way.”
Ouch! These statements can also threaten the other person's beliefs
language you can get your point
pricking the other person's intelligence
sense of self. And without miss-matching their values and beliefs.
By deflecting resistance you can invite people to consider
ideas from a different perspective.
Have a look at these, but don't decide how easy
it is until you've tested in out for yourself.
Absolute: “Only our product can deliver ...."
Indirect: “Some people would say that our product is the
only one to deliver (this benefit...)”
“Nothing can beat us for service/quality/track record ...."
Indirect: “Even though others have told us we are unbeatable
when it comes to service/quality/track record, I think you should
decide that for yourself.” (also implies trial)
Absolute: “Anyone can see
there are clear advantages to ...doing it this way.”
Indirect: “I can see a clear advantage to doing it
this way. How does it look to you?”
“That claim was
Indirect: “Based on what I've seen, I feel the claim
has little to justify it. Can you fill in any information I may have
“Everyone knows this isn't going to work.”
“Many people would say
this is going to fail/is unworkable. Perhaps we should revisit
the reasoning behind ... (our
decision to do) this.”
Absolute: “The fact is ....
(followed by your perception.)”
“Here is some information you may not be aware of yet. I think
may indicate ... (followed by your perception.)
I'm wondering, have you considered this/I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?”
have to do it this way.”
Indirect: “I'm not going to
have to do it his way, because you'll probably realize that for
yourself, but not until you have an
opportunity to consider (these facts) ...."
not right .... it's a misrepresentation of facts.”
“The facts I have lead to
a different conclusion/tell another story. So perhaps we need a more complete picture/to
look at ... the situation."