When you suggest a great idea... to a customer, to a partner, to an employee, and perhaps even a boss... what do you do if you meet resistance?
It's easy to finish up in a heated discussion... and the more you justify your position, the more resistance you meet.
And the more the other person digs into their opinion.
Once an opinion has been given, we often feel internal pressure to remain consistent to that opinion.
After all only who wants to be thought of as inconsistent or with flaky opinions which will crumble at the first sign of pressure.
Fortunately there is a way to overcome resistance without getting into an argument...and without feeling the frustrations of hitting your head against a brick wall.
Even better, it's been proven for about 2,400 years...it's called the Socratic method of learning and was proposed by the Greek Philosopher Socrates.
You overcome resistance by asking questions and listen carefully to the answers.
Richard Paul of the Center for Critical Studies has identified six types of Socratic questions:
- Questions to clarify what the other person means.
- Questions to probe assumptions.
- Questions to investigate the logic, reasons and evidence the other person's using.
- Questions examining viewpoints and perspectives.
- Questions to investigate implications and consequences.
- Questions to get to the root of the other person's questions.