You need strong support but are likely to get strong opposition.
This score is the most challenging. Your energy is moving one way, and the person you are trying to influence is moving the other.
Obviously, a 6-1 split does not lend itself to quick and easy answers. But here are a few things to consider as you begin to engage them.
- Turning resistance into support begins with you. When you’re at a 6 and they are at a 1, it can be tempting to try to force them to do what you want, trick them into going along, or just giving up. It’s important to take stock of yourself and your ability to engage people openly and with genuine curiosity. 6-1 situations can be challenging for everyone. In the questionnaire, you said that you would be willing to be influenced by that individual or group. You may need to keep reminding yourself of that answer.
Before you can engage others, there are three question you must be able to answer:
- Are there things about your idea that frighten them?
- To what extent do they distrust you (or who you represent)?
- Are there places where they simply don’t understand what you’re talking about?
If you don’t know how to answer those three questions, please read The Magic List, a short e-book that will tell you how to gather that information and what to do with it. (See the link below.)
You might also find it helpful to read my article Tips for Working with the Three Levels of Support and Resistance (see link below). It offers ideas on ways to engage people in challenging situations.
Once you gather answers to those three questions listed above, you might have some strong negative reactions. Think about what helps you stay open to hearing strong negative comments—and what triggers knee-jerk reactions. Avoiding these reflexive responses may be key to everything you do while their energy scores are on the negative side of The Energy Bar™. Please don’t underestimate the difficulty in doing that.
Here is an example of knee-jerk reactions versus staying open to what they are saying.
- The other person says, “You folks are idiots. Every idea you come up with is ridiculously stupid.” A knee-jerk reaction might be: “Since when have you had brains?” or “But how about that idiotic project you got us into last year?”
- If you were to stay open to what they are saying, you might take a breath and say, “I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me what you think is bad about this idea.” And then listen. Don’t offer rebuttals, since it could be too tempting to lash out at them. Keep listening and see if there might be places where you agree with what they are saying. If so, those could be starting points for conversation.
- Beware of what you might inadvertently do to trigger knee-jerk reactions in this person or group. Knee-jerks on either side of the table can destroy people’s ability to listen to each other.
- Temper your immediate expectations. Consider trying to shift their energy from a 1 to a 4—your interim goal would be to simply get them interested in what interests you. Once their energy and your energy are on the support side of The Energy Bar™, conversations will be much easier.
- In general, rather than trying to sell them on the brilliance of your idea, get interested in the reasons why their energy is working against yours. Avoid saying “Yes, but. . .” or “You just don’t understand.” Your task is to try to see the world through their eyes as best you can—without attempting to convince them that they are wrong. It’s your job to try to create that relatively safe environment for dialogue. When people believe that you are interested in what they have to say, and they trust that you are not trying to attack or humiliate them, they will be more inclined to converse.
- As your team’s energy begins to move up the scale, complete the assessment again and read the suggestions for scores of 6-2, 6-3, and so forth.
The Magic List. A free e-book that will help you identify why people might be resisting you, and show you how to build on the support you do have and work effectively with whatever resistance you are facing. More
Tips on Working with the Three Levels of Resistance. A short article that explains why people support or resist us. More
The Energy Bar™ Group
It’s most likely that you’re here because you need to gain support from a team, a full organization, or one key person - possibly for a one-time project, an idea that you'd like to see come to life, or maybe for a large-scale organization change. Keep the momentum going and join The Energy Bar™ Group. Our informal online group is where I share my very best work and resources, with examples of people using The Energy Bar™ effectively in organizations. It’s a place for you to connect with peers, ask questions and offer your own ideas. Our group is free to join, and you can opt out easily at any time. I hope you’ll consider joining me. – Rick Maurer