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Resistance identified = Appeased speaker

Among the reasons preventing speakers from sleeping at night, is the fear of being contradicted, heckled or, more generally, of people not agreeing with them and showing it. This anguish causes people at work to think twice before proposing an idea. This slows down the emergence of new talent and the identification of new innovative projects. How can we restore a good night’s sleep to those who have a project to propose?

Before proceeding to the method, there are 2 prerequisites:

  1. There will always be someone who does not agree with you; you have to accept it because it’s inevitable! The reason is simple: every time an idea is proposed, the established equilibrium is jostled and by default, the human brain does not like it. It resists the change to avoid considering elements on which it already has an opinion.
  2. Resistance is a real opportunity to test the disruptive potential of an idea. As soon as there are more than three people at a table, if everyone agrees, it often means that your idea will not change many things, or worse, that no one dares to say no to you! It is the resistance put up that will allow you to better prepare.

This means that your goal in preparing your presentation is not to hope that no one will resist you. On the contrary, it is to beef up your idea thanks to your ability to anticipate resistance and better respond to it.

How to anticipate the resistance of my audience?

When we draw a map of types of resistance that an idea can arouse, we realize that it is ultimately quite rare to see people refuse the entirety of a project. It is more common to see obstruction arise with this or that aspect. Anticipating resistance is always an interesting moment, when we put ourselves in the place of those listening to us and are able to identify three major forms of resistance:

  1. Weak resistance: be careful not to spend too much time on it. Arguing on something that nobody strongly opposes to will just serve to satisfy yourself. If there are no stakes involved it’s not worth it.
  2. Emotional resistance: remember that there is no point arguing with someone who doesn’t want to, who is afraid or who is wary, because he will not listen to you. The more you are able to formulate this resistance with empathy and sincerity, the more you can lead it back to a more rational resistance.
  3. Rational resistance: the only pitfall is giving the impression you’re justifying yourself. The more your audience thinks you are enduring the questions, the more you will spread doubt, even if you’re able to answer in a satisfactory manner.

So, we don’t bury our heads in the sand, hoping nobody will say anything. On the contrary, we anticipate the resistance, we formulate what we observe if necessary and we answer to it. It is by welcoming opposition with serenity that you can express your leadership skills by being attentive, appeased and soothing.

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