Do you know how to resolve conflict you face in sales?
Whether it’s inner conflict with our thoughts, feelings and emotions that are spiraling out of control when we’re anxious… Or external conflict like a disagreement with a partner, friend or buyer…
There’s no question that trying to resolve conflict can be extremely challenging and have a dramatic impact on our daily Mental Health.
As a result, many of us avoid conflict at all cost.
But conflict doesn’t need to be hard, scary or burdensome. Sometimes all you need to do is shift your Mindset.
An easy way to remember to do this is to learn about The Law of The Lever. The Law of The Lever is a principle created by Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer – Archimedes.
He is famous for saying:
“Give me a place to stand on and I will move the Earth.”
Archimedes used this principle to demonstrate how we can use a lever to amplify our force and lift objects far heavier than we could have otherwise.
In the example below – depending on the positioning of our fulcrum, we can make the stone easier or harder to lift.
When the fulcrum is moved farther away from the stone, the stone will be much harder to lift and require high effort.
But, we can make our lives easier by simply moving the fulcrum closer to the stone. This creates leverage and lowers the amount of effort we need to use to move the stone.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is because we can apply these same principles to how we resolve conflict.
All we need to do is replace “Stone” with “Conflict” and “Fulcrum” with “Mindset”.
Oftentimes when we encounter conflict, we experience challenging emotions like anger, fear, and shame.
These emotions shift us into a Defensive Mindset in which we’re motivated to avoid conflict; shifting our “fulcrum” away from conflict. Similar to trying to lift a heavy rock with no leverage, resolving conflict in a defensive mindset becomes stressful and usually hopeless.
The good news is we’re always in control of our Mindset, just like we’re in control of where we place our fulcrum.
We can use emotions like compassion, curiosity, love and empathy to create a Pro-Social Mindset that motivates us to approach conflict. In doing so – we move our fulcrum closer to conflict, which creates leverage and makes it less stressful to resolve.
So if resolving conflict means we need to become more curious, compassionate, empathetic and loving…
Then how do we create these emotions?
Answer – We ask good questions.
Much like how we ask good questions to defensive buyers to make them more curious about what we’re selling; we can ask ourselves good questions when we’re feeling defensive that help us become more curious in resolving conflict.
Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Why might they be feeling angry, anxious, afraid or ashamed?
- How did I contribute to making them feel this way?
- What other factors could be making them feel this way?
- What do I love most about this person?
- How have they helped me in the past?
- How can I go easier on them?
- What’s one nice thing I can do for them?
You can use the same questions when you’re experiencing internal conflict by switching they/person/them to I/me/myself:
- Why might I be feeling angry, anxious, afraid or ashamed?
- How did I contribute to making myself feel this way?
- What other factors could be making me feel this way?
- What do I love most about me?
- How have I helped myself in the past?
- How can I go easier on myself?
- What’s one nice thing I can do for me?
So next time you’re experiencing any internal or external conflict…
Pause and ask yourself:
Are you using your Mindset to create leverage?
If not – use the questions above as prompts to interrupt your defensive mindset and journal for 10 minutes.
This exercise should help you leverage your thinking and approach conflict with a pro-social mindset that is fueled by curiosity, compassion, empathy and love.
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About The Author
Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.
Jeff combines his sales and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.