Opening Closed Minds

Getting Past an Initial "No"

Keep an open mind.

© iStockphoto

Imagine this scenario: You've spent weeks putting together a proposal to present to your company's senior executive team.

Your goal is to convince them that donating money each quarter to a charitable cause would not only help the company's image with customers, but also improve team morale.

You're passionate about the issue, and you're confident that once your presentation is finished, they'll be "sold."

When the time comes, you speak from your heart and give them several facts that prove your argument. You also present examples from other successful companies in your industry that currently give to charity on a regular basis.

When you're done, however, you're shocked and discouraged when the CEO rejects the idea without even discussing it with the rest of the executive team. When you ask why, she tells you that it's just too expensive, despite the evidence you presented that shows a positive financial return.

What happened here? You thought you would be successful, but it seems as if the CEO had made up her mind before you even started talking.

So how can you avoid situations like this?

All too often, we can face these circumstances in the workplace. The people to whom we're talking don't really listen, because our idea goes against their beliefs, or their current way of thinking.

Dealing with closed minds doesn't have to be frustrating. With some patience and understanding – and with a few sales techniques – it is often possible to open someone's mind to a new way of thinking.

In this article, we explain why some people close themselves to new ideas, and we offer techniques that you can use to try to open their minds.

... for the complete article:

Mind Tools Club members, click here.

Join the Mind Tools Club to finish this article AND get 1,000 more resources

Join now for just $1, first month

"When I started using Mind Tools, I was not in a supervisory position. Now I am. Along with that came a 12% increase in salary." – Pat Degan, Houston, USA
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.


Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.


Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.