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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 to change 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 happening again?

So what is going on?
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 their minds?

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 absolutesۥ and blanket generalizations. And then begin using indirectۥ language to soften what you have to say. 

What I mean by absolute language ...
“We have the best product/service/track record in this area/category/business.

"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 way)
“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 and values.

By using indirectۥ language you can get your point across without pricking the other person's intelligence or 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...)”

Absolute: “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?

Absolute “That claim was totally unjustified.”
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 missed?”

Absolute:  “Everyone knows this isn't going to work.
Indirect  “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.)”
Indirect:    “Here is some information you may not be aware of yet. I think they may indicate ... (followed by your perception.) I'm wondering, have you considered this/I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?”

Absolute:  “You have to do it this way.
Indirect:    “I'm not going to say you 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) ...."  

Absolute:  “That's not right .... it's a misrepresentation of facts.
Indirect:    “The facts I have lead to a different conclusion/tell another story. So perhaps we need a more complete picture/to take a closer look at ... the situation."  

Finally ... a couple of words to soften any questions:

“I'm curious ..."  “I'm wondering ..." 

And my personal favorite:
“You must have a good reason for saying that .... do you mind if I ask what it is?" 
“Magic is hidden in the language we speak.”
 Richard Bandler and John Grinder 1975
Also see ...Taming Your Not(s)                                 
For more Word Power visit our other site: 

Creating a path for change ...

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