…in the words of one of the top organizational psychologists around today… Adam Grant.
Adam is a brilliant guy and a wonderful author. His book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, is a great piece about understanding. Give it a read.
In an opinion article that Adam just published in the NY Times titled “The Science of Reasoning With Unreasonable People,” he offers a great introduction to the thinking about helping others change. His final quote is “I no longer believe it’s my place to change anyone’s mind. All I can do is try to understand their thinking and ask if they’re open to some rethinking. The rest is up to them.”
And that is the cornerstone of what we have been exploring for the better part of the last 10 years. It has come to be known as I chat about it as the AND/ALSO pivot.
It starts with the clear understanding that YOU cannot change someone else’s mind. It is not possible. Only THEY can change their mind. That is the simple science of how it all works. While from time to time, with much verbal flogging, and verbose assaults you might get them to agree just to get you to shut up and go away, in fact, you cannot change what they think, even if they are wrong. Only the owner of the brain can control its workings.
So what does that mean to the salespeople in our space?
Quit trying to make your clients wrong about the decisions that they have made in the past and that control their actions today. STOP, it’s not working and you are only creating barriers that are really tough to break down.
INSTEAD… take time to understand how the client reached the decisions that they made. And under the circumstances, how much good sense that made. AND MEAN IT! No games here. You must really understand and empathize with reality.
Only when you clearly understand and say so honestly, do you open up doors for new additional thinking. It is at this time that you acknowledge their reality AND asks permission to ALSO put another thought on the table for them to consider. By openly acknowledging their reality as understandable you prevent the barrier to listening to another idea from being built. You have received a mini invitation to offer up a little bit of incremental wisdom that does not threaten their past thinking but openly ADDS to it.
Just like breaking a habit. You can’t kill a bad habit, you CAN add a new one that will be more powerful than the old one.
From there it is our place to serve the client in whatever choice they make and execute to excellence!
SERVE endlessly with,
OK, LET’s ROLL!