For some, this time of year is very stressful and can present many family conflicts. In my book, “You’re Not Too Busy to Be Fabulous!”, I asked my mentor Helen Sands, PHD to help us through this. Here’s a synopsis of that conversation:
Q. There are usually some family members who are change-resistive to new ideas. How can you persuade them to look at your viewpoint?
A. If you are concerned that change will benefit everyone, you need to find three reasons why your ideas for change have value. It is easier to follow and remember just three points. Presenting your view with three main points helps you keep the message simple enough to avoid things that may seem too complex.
Q. What then?
A. Next, you need to find some reasons and supporting material to strengthen your ideas. Save the third, most important point for last. This provides more impact and will strengthen your persuasiveness.
Q. So, will this win my family over?
A. They may not quickly give in to your reasoning. But don’t be discouraged. It is still possible to negotiate a win-win solution.
Here are a few more suggestions:
- Use a respectful and non-threatening manner.
- Be open to listening to others’ perception of the situation.
- Work toward a mutual understanding of the issue(s) involved.
- Acknowledge the points of agreement that you share. Since your ultimate goal is to establish a “meeting of the minds”, this is particularly important.
- Use words of inclusion such as “we, us, our, and let’s”.
- Work toward a “win-win” solution – going beyond compromise to achieve what is good for everyone. While a true “win-win” may take longer, it is generally worth it.
- Stay friendly throughout the discussion, keeping an open mind.
- Encourage the value of the different perceptions. It may be these different perceptions that bring about stronger and even better solutions.
Question: Other than caving, can you think of additional ideas that might be helpful?