Lets face it, no one enjoys rejection. But the reality is, a new idea starts getting negative assaults within three seconds and thirty percent of people will readily oppose a new idea without even taking sufficient time to find out if the new idea is good or not. Whether your idea is convincing your friends to try a new place for lunch or getting the advertising budget doubled, it can be an uphill battle. As a knee-jerk response, its normal for people to say: thats dumb, we tried that, it costs too much; it will never work, you don't understand, etcetera!
German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, observed that a new idea goes through three stages in becoming "the norm":
First, it's ridiculed.
Second, it's violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as self-evident
Take disposable diapers, for example. First test marketed in 1961 in Peoria, people scoffed at the idea of paying for a one-use diaper. Many sneered they were a needless extravagance. Some wanted them outlawed as wasteful. But attitudes changed and now disposables are indispensable. Over ninety percent of North American parents prefer them and think living without them would be a return to the Dark Ages.
How can you get your great new ideas accepted?
Refuse to be put off by people rejecting your idea. It is guaranteed to happen. Let them have their say. Gently persist. Line up supporters. Then let fence-sitters know who supports your idea. Get your facts ready for the few who will disagree or even argue with you. Let everyone know how your idea can benefit them, the customer and the organization. My friend, Debra Gould, says, "Persistence beats resistance every time." She's right. Stick with your winning idea and eventually people will agree, "You were right all along!"
Doug Smart is the coauthor of the book, Thriving in the Midst of Change. He is a management development consultant, professional speaker, and host of the daily motivational radio show, "Smarter by the Minute." For more information, email Doug@DougSmart.com.
Copyright 2005 by Doug Smart