The only way to stop people saying “no”

10th September 2019

One night, you see someone looking for something in front of a hotel.

“I’ve lost my keys”, he says. You offer to help.

After five minutes:

You: We’ve searched everywhere. Where did you drop them?
Him: In the woods behind the hotel
You: So why are we looking here?
Him: Because there’s more light here!

People don’t look in the lovely light if the keys are elsewhere.

Similarly, when you communicate, don’t just give your lovely message, if your audience think the key things are elsewhere.

For example, when a boss roadshows her lovely new strategy. But her team think their key thing – they’ve no time to do it – isn’t being addressed.

So, if she wants their buy-in, she has to proactively mention the impact on their time, and suggest solutions to it.

Another one: the parent who says “Stop playing. It’s school tomorrow, so you need a good sleep.”

No child has ever replied “You’re right. I’ll run to bed now.”

Instead, they’ll say “I’m playing”. Because that’s their key thing.

So, when someone has concerns about your ideas…

Action Point

Proactively mention – and then remove – these concerns. If you don’t, while you discuss your lovely idea, they’ll think you aren’t looking in the right place.

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