How to Face Resistance to Your Great Ideas
When you face resistance:
Stress closes your mind.
#2. Don’t provide quick answers.
Explore their perspective. Seek input.
The worst thing you can do is answer resistance early in a conversation.
- Quick answers create adversarial relationships.
- Answers invite more objections when given to people who aren’t committed to move forward.
- Answers frustrate people who struggle to find a path forward.
#3. Answer hot emotion before solving difficult problems.
Frustrated people cling to the status quo. Stress makes us stupid.
#4. Open up – don’t dig in.
When you feel resistance, get curious. Defensiveness defeats you. Ask curious questions with an open heart.
- “Thanks for saying that. What brings this to mind for you?”
- “What’s important to you about that?”
- “What do you think we’re trying to accomplish by having this conversation?”
- “I’m curious. Why are you asking?”
- “Your thoughts are important to me. What’s your viewpoint on…?”
- “I hear what you’re saying. What results are you working to achieve?”
- “Thanks for your input. What else comes to mind?”
- “It sounds like you have a viewpoint on this. What led you to your conclusions?”
- “Let’s imagine we adopt your suggestion. What needs to be true for your suggestion to work?”
- “What might make this idea more workable? Less workable?”
- “What’s one argument in favor of this idea? What’s one argument against?”
- “What alternatives might help us move forward, other than continuing to endure a dissatisfying situation?”
Create a soft-landing strip for hard questions. The sentence before your question is a landing strip.
- Explain an intention. “The reason I’m asking is….”
- Practice gratitude. “Thanks for bringing this to my attention.”
- Summarize. “Here’s what I think you said. Do you think I get it? If not, what am I missing?”
- Notice the obvious. “It seems like you feel strongly about this.”
What are some reasons people resist new ideas?
How might leaders overcome resistance to new ideas?