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What leads to forward motion?

By The Writers

You want to move people.

But getting them to where you want them to go is often frustrating. They’ll put up one objection after the other.

You might think addressing their objections or concerns with logic and well-phrased questions makes sense. But that approach is often stymied by disinterest and one rebuttal after the other.

A better approach is to think a little deeper about what’s actually driving their concerns. Think more about what’s actually happening.

What’s actually happening is they’re saying, ‘I’m afraid.’ It might be, ‘I’m afraid to tell you that I’m not interested.’ But more likely it’s, ‘I’m afraid of the unknown, I’m afraid what my friends will think, I’m afraid about money.’

There are two reasons why people won’t tell you they’re afraid. First, because our culture has taught us that fear is something to be ashamed of. But more because they’re concerned that if they share their fear, they’ll be pushed to go forward, and they’re afraid to do that.

More information or rhetoric won’t help. More yes questions won’t help. More pushing won’t help.

It’s tempting to imagine that more evidence will make a difference, that it’s the objections or concerns that matter. But more facts won’t address the underlying issue.

‘It’s too expensive,’ is a common objection or concern. But it’s usually not the real reason. Price is simply a useful way to end the conversation.

‘I’m afraid’ is something people don’t want to say, so they search for an objection or concern instead.

What leads to forward motion? Either lowering the underlying fear. Or raising the fear of doing nothing so it exceeds the fear of moving forward.