Using a Practical Approach
6:0:18 2024-04-14 189

1- Listen to the other side of the story. You may agree with some of the things you hear, and disagree with others. This gives you a chance to hear things you may not have heard before, and also increases your chances to reach an agreement. When both parties listen to each other, it makes things easier for everyone.

  • If you are filling your head with all the reasons to say “no” as the person is talking, you are not actively listening. If it is difficult for you to listen, say to the other person, “Okay, I’m listening to what you have to say.” This will force you to pause and focus on the person talking.
  • Maintain good eye contact. This will help you stay focused and also will convey your interest in hearing what the other person has to say.
  • Do not interrupt the person talking. Instead, wait until he is done to address the matter. Repeat back in similar wording what you heard him say. Each time you do this it builds your credibility as an active listener.
  • If the person talking is upset, happy, or passionate about what he is saying you can reply, “It sounds like you are really excited about this opportunity. I can see why this is so important to you.” People like to be heard and listened to. When you correctly repeat back to people what you heard, they know you have been listening.


2- Remind yourself that you are not always right. While listening to someone talk, you may think everything he says is wrong because you know "the right way." There is a distinction between facts and opinions. Your opinion is not the only one that matters, nor is all your knowledge necessarily correct. You have to accept that you learn something new every day, even if it overwrites something you thought you already knew.

  • You are entitled to have an opinion, but you cannot expect others to always agree with you. Repeating your opinion louder, or more often, or with judgmental slurs attached, will not convince anyone to agree with you. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
  • No one likes a know-it-all. If maintaining relationships with family, friends and business is important, you must consider your likability.


3- Build trust in others by starting with small steps. Your stubbornness might be attributed to an overall mistrust of others. Most people are not going to take advantage of you the second you stop fighting tooth-and-nail for your objectives. For the ones who do, it becomes apparent very quickly and you can distance yourself. Remember, these types of people are the exception not the norm.

  • There are ways to build your ability to trust others. Start with small steps that lead to larger ones. For example, if you think someone is incapable of being responsible, allow him to pick up your dry cleaning. This is a low-risk activity, but it will still allow you to build trust. Once the person demonstrates he is reliable, you can allow him to do more important tasks. Each time the person is successful your trust in him will grow.
  • Even if someone forgets to do something for you, it doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted. Give him a second chance to earn your trust. You would appreciate the same concession.


4- Keep an open mind by reserving judgement. Enter any discussion and situation with an open, neutral mindset, without prejudice, or judgement. Approach with the attitude that you are willing to hear what someone has to say so you can make a fair decision, rather than a rash decision. Considering everyone’s input prevents closing off the possibility for a positive outcome.

  • Prevent yourself from jumping to a negative conclusion by using visualization techniques. For example, close your eyes and envision a box filled with all the negative things you believe about the person or the event you are supposed to attend. Picture yourself closing the box and putting a lock on it and setting it to the side. Open your eyes and take a step forward symbolically moving away from your stubbornness. This should help you start the conversation with an open mind.
  • Focus on the positive feeling that results from a good outcome and let that motivate you through the situation.


5- Be humble. Don't always assign people less value than yourself. Think about everyone as being equal. It is okay to be confident and have healthy self-esteem, but over doing it can make you appear stubborn and closed-minded, not to mention snobby, self-centered and even mean.

  • To be humble you need to approach every situation from the perspective that you are grateful for what you have. Don't boast about your accomplishments. Be appreciative for what you have and for the people in your life. If you never lose sight of this and uphold a high level of care for others, you will see your stubbornness decrease.
  • Humility requires you to hold a modest opinion of yourself rather than an inflated one. For example, if you hold an advanced college degree, don’t think less of someone who doesn’t have one. There are all sorts of reasons why people don’t go to college, and many of these people might be more successful than you.


6- Realize that being stubborn is good in some cases. In an instance when you are certain you are right or are defending something of value, being stubborn is appropriate. Also, in a case when the decision is yours to make and the consequences greatly impact you, your stubbornness will serve you well. Given the right situation, stubbornness is useful. It is when it gets out of control and negatively affects you and those around you that you must find a way to temper it.

  • If you or your attorney are fighting for your rights, being stubborn is an asset.
  • If you need to have a medical procedure approved and you are getting push-back from your insurance company, being stubborn might save your life.


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