Overcoming objections and blocks in leadership and personal development: The overarching principles

[This post is part of a series on internal objections and blocks and how to overcome them. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Whether you want to lead or motivate others or yourself, deciding to lead means you will face objections and blocks. Whether from members of your team or from your anxieties and fears, objections and blocks are similar, as are their solutions.
For the next week or so, I’ll cover a range of objections, blocks, and various other ways we discourage ourselves or face others being discouraged when we try to motivate them.
Someone who can consistently overcome challenges in themselves or others will be able to lead people and improve themselves past where others give up — an obvious competitive advantage and route to success.
A big part of my role as a coach is identifying blocks that discourage my clients and helping them overcome them. They often don’t realize what’s blocking them is internal or can be changed. They just think the world works that way.
I think that’s why people often call coaches motivational speakers and the like. I don’t think of myself as motivating others, but even when people know they want to change and how, they stop because of objections and blocks. People who understand the objections and how to overcome them, usually from experience, will seem to motivate them.

The grand overarching principles in overcoming objections and blocks

The first grand overarching principle in overcoming objections and blocks is

An objection is a statement of an unmet need.

Many people see objections as a reason to stop and do. This view reframes them not as reasons to stop but as ways to refine your strategy.
Whether it comes from you or a member of the team you’re leading, if you want to achieve something and an objection or block arises, you have an unmet need. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it. It means you have to identify and figure out how to overcome it.
Next, when someone tells you their problem, they aren’t just saying they have a problem. If they thought no one could solve it, they’d give up. By stating it they show they expect it can be solved and they want it solved. So the next important principles are that

Stating an objection indicates interest.

Stating an objection indicates motivation.

Do you see how hearing an objection shows how it’s an advantage, not a disadvantage?
These three points allow us to look at objections and blocks and expect to succeed where others might look at them with frustration, futility, exasperation, or other discouragement.

General strategy

The upcoming series of posts will look at common objections and blocks and suggest tactics to overcome them. We’ll use the same strategy with all of them, based on the model above. The strategy will be to

  1. Understand the apparent problem
  2. Figure out how to solve it or reframe it to something solvable (or opportunity, if possible)
  3. See how in the new perspective it’s either an advantage or how solving it will make it one

Often the new perspective will make what appeared problematic instead seem like an opportunity to improve the project or learn or grow as a person or team. Specific cases in the next posts will demonstrate how.
Experience reframing problems means learning to see opportunities where others see problems. You’ll still have to work to do what they need, but you’ll find ways to enjoy the work, or at least view it neutrally. That is, you’ll still have to burn as many calories doing the work but you’ll enjoy it instead of feeling like it’s a chore.

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