To handle resistance to your ideas and influence during negotiation, you will first need to know why there is an objection. Typically, people object or resist because they:
Resistance can be very confusing or frustrating, and you may be keen to get on with things, but need to back off and take stock.
Check you have been using all the rapport and listening skills already mentioned (including ‘listening’ to their body language). Check their understanding and in particular use the skill of empathy; try to ‘step into their shoes’ and try to see things from their perspective. Consider what would have to happen for you to be convinced if you were them. Seek areas of agreement and focus on them, rather than on any areas of disagreement.
Notice when people are covertly disagreeing and may be actively working against you. They might have an attitude of ‘Well, OK, if that’s what you want’. Encourage them to talk openly about their concerns, and respect their position, while also promoting your own.
When people are complying but are showing reluctance about it, try to link your point of view to their feelings and values and point out how your position fits with their interests, and any mutual benefits. Also point out any mutual disadvantages from not going ahead.
If people are undecided or feel they don’t have enough information, invite questions and requests for clarification to find out what is missing or needed. Break things down into smaller chunks of information of necessary (without overwhelming them).
When someone is simply resistant to change or claims they don’t see the need, summarise the benefits and get them to focus on what may happen if nothing changes.
Some people do need time to think things over and reflect on how they feel. Perhaps provide them with a written summary so that they can reflect on it. Just be sure it’s not delaying tactics. If they suggest the timing isn’t right, ask them when would be an appropriate time.
© 2011 Jeremy Marchant Limited . by Jeremy Marchant . uploaded 5 june 2015 . image: Free images