Responding in a Resourceful Manner
By Roger Ellerton Phd, ISP, CMC, Renewal Technologies Inc. www.renewal.ca
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I am always fascinated by people's behavior. Lately, I have been observing how people respond to sales pitches or ideas/concepts that are different from their firmly held beliefs. Some people get curious and explore how these new ideas, etc. can be incorporated into what they are already doing, others respond to them with "so what?" and others respond in a vitriolic fashion. The focus of this article is on this latter behavior.
I, and I'm sure you, have seen or been the recipient of this hurtful or spiteful behavior in social media groups or when someone is attempting to present/sell an idea, concept, service or product. Although for the person responding in a vitriolic fashion, their underlying concern or intention may be well-founded, I tend to discount their position or argument based mainly on how they have chosen to respond.
What is it that leads people to respond in this manner?
First, consider the NLP presupposition (basic assumption): The meaning of your communication is the response you get. What meaning or interpretation have these people taken from the sales pitch or concept? I suggest it is often fear or lack of safety for themselves or others. This fear can be related to being physically hurt, taken advantage of and the one that many people avoid saying is fear of the unknown. People have been known to do harm to themselves or others to avoid experiencing the unknown.
Given that people do the best they can with the resources available to them - another NLP presupposition. These people are reacting in the best way possible for themselves, based on the circumstances as they see them. However, as a result of their behaviors, their arguments are not fully considered by others. Although, they achieve their objective of perceived safety by driving the presenter away, they do not achieve their ultimate objectives of having their message clearly understood and potentially protecting others from the perceived threat. Nor do they open the possibility of exploring a larger world and thus giving themselves more choice and enjoyment.
If you find that in the past, you have responded as described above, what can you do when a similar situation presents itself in the future? I suggest the following:
- Establish clear boundaries. That is, have clarity on your beliefs and values. When you are not sure of your beliefs and boundaries, then you are fearful that people may violate them without your knowing.
- Put yourself in a resourceful state. That is, you feel good about yourself and the boundaries you have chosen.
- Respect the right of the other person to have a perspective or opinion that is different from yours. As long as they are presenting their perspective in a respectful manner, hear them out and explore if there is something that can be of use to you.
- If you feel the need to present an alternative view, put yourself in a position of safety and resourcefulness. Then, while respecting the other person and their right to have a different opinion, provide your first hand experiences or information from respected sources that are contrary to what you have heard or raise questions that will require the other person to provide factual answers when replying.
- There may be a point where the two of you choose to have a difference of opinion. Accept the other personís right to think differently and then excuse yourself from the conversation in a resourceful manner with integrity and get on with your business.
Using an approach such as this will generate more interest and support for your position or thoughts and you will feel better about your decisions.
Author: Roger Ellerton is a certified NLP trainer, certified management consultant and the founder and managing partner of Renewal Technologies. The above article is based on his book Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You.
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