Writer and creative consultant
Writer and creative consultant
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Overcoming pushback - Part 1 of 5

Are you getting pushback from a client on that great idea of yours?

You’ve cajoled, charmed, thrown in the kitchen sink? You’ve done everything in your powers to convince them of your solution? You’ve pushed as hard as you can and they’re still resisting?

Stop pushing. Seriously, stop pushing and start removing the barriers that stand in their way.

Honestly ask them why they haven’t changed already? What’s holding them back? What’s stopping them?

Clients, partners, children, neighbours, even educated bees do the opposite of what they’re told. Especially when they perceive threats to personal freedom.

People don’t like to feel disempowered. They like to feel in control. Feel is the operative word here. More logic or reason won’t change their minds. More feeling will.

If they feel badgered, manoeuvred or manipulated into something, they’ll do the opposite. This negative response - which typically sees a no when you’re looking for a yes - is called reactance.

Offering a client options makes them feel like they’re in the driver’s seat, they’re in control. Giving options reduces reactance. Two or three options give them something to dismiss. Don’t focus on trying to convince them of the right option. Focus on why the other options don’t work.

Highlighting gaps between thoughts and actions also reduces knee-jerk reactance. How? Ask a client if they believe X why are they doing Y? Underscore the dissonance, the uncomfortable feeling.

Let them realise how great your idea is.


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