- Thoughts for inspired living

July 17, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:31 am

I was reading through some material that ad writing Guru, David Garfinkel sent me and found his description of objection fascinating.

He basically says that when a person objects, it just means they don’t believe – so simple, so profound.

Have you ever encountered someone who really could benefit by what you had to offer but their disbelief stood in the way?

You can’t get them to come over to your position by making them wrong. That NEVER works. “Wrong” is a frustration of not being able to get through to someone. It smacks of superiority and will close the door to communication at lightning speed.

My strategy for disbelief in the past was to counter with facts and figures that would certainly get a person to see the light I was seeing. That RARELY works.

Then I found out the way that has a much better batting average – honoring their disbelief. In NLP jargon, it’s called joining their model of the world.

When you position yourself on the other side of the line in the sand from someone, it’s a surefire way to get sand kicked in your face.

When you honor someone’s belief, you are temporarily adopting it to see how it feels. That way, you can engender some empathy for their position. What does it feel like to be them?

When you rent their disbelief, it’s easier for you to find a passageway out that makes sense for them, rather than have them walk your prefabricated path.

Additionally, the great teachers that came before us all taught us the power of the story to communicate ideas that people have conscious resistance to. The story has a way of disengaging their disbelief (objections) and opening them up to a new angle of view.

That reminds me of a story . . .

Many people who come to my seminars don’t believe that the routines they run are locked in time. For example, most people who smoke began as teenagers. What adult smokers have a hard time believing is that every time they light up, it’s the teenager in them that instigates the act. The smoking pattern they developed is locked in time even though they have physically and mentally matured.

Rather than address that head on, I ask an adult in the group (usually a big muscular guy) if their mother or father has a look they can give them that can freeze them in their tracks, or can say their name in a certain tone of voice that terrifies them. It’s amusing to see a big hulk of a fellow admit that his 5′ 1″ mother can make him feel 5 years old again with just a look or tone of voice.

That part of them that can still become terrified is locked in time. That pattern never got updated and it reacts as though they are still 5 years old. After this demonstration, it’s easier for someone to appreciate that their smoking pattern is also locked in time.

Rather than tell them “I know,” it’s always easier for them to see another angle of view when they discover it for themselves. You, without objection, lead them down a path with a trail of breadcrumbs until they fill themselves up with a new belief.

If you want to help someone release their objection, a good start is to adopt their angle of view to find out what it feels like to be them. Next, craft a story that parallels their situation and salt it with evidence that counters their current belief.

This method doesn’t counter the objection all the time but it’s a more efficient way of disengaging someone’s belief rather than making them wrong or facting them to death.

All the best,



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