Objections seem to slow or prevent our progress. Often emotionally charged, objections can trigger our fight or flight reactions. Really, though, objections are not the threats they seem to be.
In leadership, sales, influence, and negotiation, every objection we receive has at its source the other person’s unacknowledged and unmet need, want, or desire. Even if the other person is being cagey, dramatic, or belligerent–even if the other has no idea what the underlying need, want, or desire is–all objections are coded requests from them to us to dig deeper, build bridges, and create win-win solutions.
We can respond to their requests (coded as objections) by proving to them that we understand what they have said and respectfully acknowledging any emotions they have shown. Next we ask their permission to explore further what they have said and any related interests, aims, needs, wants, or desires. As we explore, we ask questions like, “How will we know we have solved this for good?” We can also use the Five Whys approach: ask why what they have said or asked is important. Then we keep asking “And why is that?” to each of their responses, going deeper each time, until we’ve got clarity.
Soon enough we will be back on track and brainstorming creative, win-win solutions that only moments before seemed impossible.
In your corner,