We live in a very fast-paced time and that often comes across in the way we speak to others. We have the things we want to say and want to create the best chance that the other person will agree with us, so it’s easy for us to come up with all the reasons why they should agree and explain why they should agree right from the beginning.
Sometimes we find that people are not only hesitating to agree, they are finding reasons to disagree as well.
It might not be that they want to disagree, and maybe you have already thought of the right response to their disagreements, but something I thought about today was this: when you explain all the reasons that someone should agree with what you’re saying, they can’t think of them themselves.
You see, when you explain your position and then stop talking, if it’s a good idea and the person is someone who has trusted your judgement before, it’s likely that they will start thinking of the reasons that they should agree. But when we continue talking and give them the reasons that they would have thought of themselves, they are still going to take some time to think about things, and if you’ve given them the good reasons already then they don’t have many positive options!
I did this at work today where I made a suggestion of an improvement and then stopped talking. Like magic, the person I was speaking to started giving me reasons why I should make the improvement. I then took the other side where I pointed out the potential downfalls and the other person saw my point of view but stayed on the side of agreement.
It can be difficult to take the risk of someone disagreeing with you and the urge to reassure them before they respond can be powerful, but by restraining yourself and allowing the person to think first, you increase the chances of them agreeing and being on your side.
There are no thoughts more powerful than our own, so don’t be afraid to let people figure out how good your ideas are on their own.