5 tips for handling objections and understanding differences of opinion
Rather than shirking away from tensions, ensuring you have a process for dealing with differences in opinions and objections in place is much more beneficial to the smooth running of both your working day and your business as a whole
At some point or another, you’ll be faced with objection in the workplace. In an environment made up of many different personalities, work ethics, and attitudes, it’s bound to happen. Avoiding differences in opinion is near-impossible, and certainly not conducive to resolution if things do end up boiling over.
Rather than shirking away from tensions, ensuring you have a process for dealing with differences in opinions and objections in place is much more beneficial to the smooth running of both your working day and your business as a whole. Finding a middle ground between the direct and indirect approach helps to defuse potentially explosive situations and keeps everybody happy.
Here, we run through five useful tips to help you handle objections in the workplace.
1. Invite constructive criticism
Honest and open lines of dialogue are hugely beneficial in any workplace – helping team members understand that having differing viewpoints is acceptable. Some workplaces can perpetuate the myth that objecting to established opinions is taboo, but that can be hugely restrictive to the business as a whole.
Invite all levels of the organisation to share any constructive criticism they may have about workplace practices. This will help decision-makers open up to new viewpoints, and make the process of handling objections simpler and more standardised. If the criticism has foundation and can lead to positive results – it should be invited at all levels of the organisation.
An environment of debate and constructive feedback can also ensure that objections are far less jarring for the recipient – helping them use the criticism to assist their output. When it is established that objections and constructive criticism is a positive step, your team will be welcoming feedback with open arms.
2. Keep a cool head
When faced with objections, many people have a tendency to let their emotions bubble over and go in all guns blazing, whatever the problem may be. Differing opinions can lead to arguments and a game of one-upmanship, and it’s tempting to try and get the upper hand, whether it’s a charged email or a heated argument.
But if the unprofessionalism doesn’t come back to get you, then the embarrassment will. There’s a great deal of relief to be felt knowing you resisted the temptation to explode and escalate the situation when it really wasn’t necessary. Calm down, take a breath and look at the bigger picture.
3. Pick your battles
In a stressful environment where everybody’s busy, trifling matters and differences in opinion can quickly become overblown. Consider if the objection is fair and justified or if you’re still in the right. If it is justified, allow the objection to shape the resolution.
However, if you’re convinced you’re in the right – you should definitely stand your ground and ensure the outcome is what’s best for the company.
4. Avoid blame
When resolving a difference of opinion, it can be easy to blame other parties for the dispute. However, this only serves as a diversion, and shirking responsibility is never a good idea. Focusing on the problem itself is a better method for effective and efficient resolution -bringing us on to…
5. It’s the problem, not the person
Everybody has different perspectives and ways of doing things, and convincing anyone to change their ways is a tough ask. Distance the personality from the problem. Accusations and character assassinations aren’t going to help, even directed towards the most difficult colleagues in the office. Catch yourself before you say something you’ll regret, and analyse the root of the problem.
Above all, remember that different opinions often present an opportunity to learn. Use them as case studies in team building exercises, look for the positives in the situation and build on their resolutions in the appropriate manner.
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