Overcoming Resistance Involves Listening: Tips From The Manager’s Answer Book

I recently participated in a lively discussion on overcoming resistance presented by my colleague Ian Cook of Fulcrum Associates. Ian shared his insights into ways to overcome resistance at work and in life. In one of the exercises we did during the presentation, we listed places/people where we encounter resistance. I loved the variety of responses in my group—and their honesty. The list included:

  • “My nine-year-old daughter”
  • “A CEO client”
  • “My staff”
  • “My dog”

One of the strategies Ian shared was number five of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People from the book of the same name by Stephen Covey:  

5. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

Seeking to understand the other person’s perspective before we attempt to convince them to perhaps see things in a different way, requires listening to the other person perspective. This means we have to take time to really listen to the other person, and really listening takes patience and practice.

Manager’s Tips: We cover this in, The Manager’s Answer Book, responding to the question on page 126: “Now that I’m a manager, I know it’s important to become a better listener. I’m trying to improve my listening habits and improve my skills. Any tips on what I can do?”

“Listening is hard work for most of us, and we’ve spent little time learning how to listen. A good listener makes a deliberate effort to understand the other person’s message. A good listener listens to learn, is interested in what the speaker is saying, and lets the speaker know they’re listening.”

For the rest of the answer, you can find The Manager’s Answer Book at your local independent bookstore, on Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble.

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