Overcoming Other People’s Resistance to
Your Goals


Jack Canfield

Achieving goals often requires the support and involvement of other people, which poses a challenge when those individuals object to our plans.

Although some people react to resistance by trying to guilt or strong-arm others into complying with their wishes, highly successful people recognize that such tactics are manipulative and destructive to long-term relationships. Instead, they employ enrollment skills to gain others’ cooperation and support.

The Enrollment Process

Successful enrollment consists of four steps.

Step 1: Evoke the other person’s vision.
Your goal is to identify what the other person’s ideal state looks like. In other words, what does success look like to them?

Use this powerful question to elicit visions: “If we were sitting here three years from now, what would have had to have happened for you to feel good about ____?” When asking this question of your potential partners, you would fill in the blank with a description of what you’re trying to achieve. In addition, you would modify the timeline to be appropriate to the situation.

For example, if you were trying to enroll your spouse in taking a summer vacation in a specific location, you might ask “If we were sitting here at the end of the summer, what would have had to have happened for you to feel you’ve had an incredible vacation?” If you were talking to your top managers about a new initiative you wanted to undertake in your business, you might ask what would need to happen so that they would feel good about your progress as a company three years from now.

Step 2: Identify where you are now.
Have the other person or people share their thoughts about where they think you are now in relation to their ideal state. Ask “What’s the current condition or situation? Where are we now in relation to that vision?”

Step 3: Identify obstacles.
The third question would be, “What are the obstacles in the way of getting to your vision of success?”

At this step, a S.W.O.T. analysis can be helpful. S.W.O.T. stands for:

  • Strengths, skills and talents you currently have.
  • Weaknesses that have to be addressed within our company, within ourselves, our family, our budget, within whatever else we’re dealing with.
  • Opportunities that need to be explored and captured.
  • Threats, dangers and weaknesses in the marketplace, within our company or within ourselves that could stop us from being successful

Another process you could use is what Dan Sullivan calls Strategic Planning Circles. Rather than identifying strengths first, he identifies obstacles. The intent is not to be pessimistic and negative. Instead, it’s to find the strategy to overcome the obstacles.

To use Strategic Planning Circles, look at every objection that could come up, every obstacle, every problem, and every possible thing that could go wrong. Then ask yourself, “What are three strategies for each of those obstacles, objections, or problems, so when they show up we can deal with them?”

Step 4: Reveal your plan for achieving the ideal state.
Show them how your project, your plan, your goal, or whatever you’re wanting them to support will actually help move them from the current state to the ideal state.

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Everyone you meet has their own goals and visions of what success looks like. When you need to enlist the support of other people and organizations to achieve your goals, it’s essential that you be aware of and remain sensitive to the needs and dreams of your team members. By using this four-step process, you’ll improve your ability to enroll others in achieving your goals, making it easier to achieve greater levels of success.


About Exceptional People Magazine

Exceptional People Magazine is where self empowerment, hope and inspiration happen. I’m Monica Davis the founder of Exceptional People Magazine and my mission is to enhance the quality of life of all people by promoting goodwill, unity and better living through positive media. Through this magazine you will be inspired to reach new heights.

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