Using the Negative to get a Positive

by Neil Pinkman, Regional Director

If your experience is anything like mine you have noticed that people can relate more quickly and better to a negative example. That is why anytime I want to try to get a point across I start with a negative example to get their attention, and then give the positive flip side to the same situation. Then, all of a sudden, the light goes on. By the way, there is always a positive flipside!

If you would like to have a little fun with this and test it out, try this. I have done this with hundreds of people and it always goes the same way.

At your next gathering tell the group that you would like each one in the group to say their name and, if they are comfortable with it, tell the group a little something about themselves. Now, right before the first person is about to start, interrupt with this one simple request: When you tell us something about yourself, I would like you to be really honest.

My experience has been, except with a very small handful of people, that they will go right to giving information from the negative side: "I'm a procrastinator," or "I'm not very organized," or "I run late a lot."

Only a few times have I heard, "I'm a great Salesperson," or "I'm a wonderful parent," or "I'm a really good manager." Literally, only 6 or so positive responses out of hundreds of people.

Try it. Have fun with it. But, keep in mind, you will do far better by leveraging your strengths and focusing on all the wonderful positive things about yourself than going immediately to the negatives. I challenge you now, yes right now, to take a piece of paper and write down all the things that make you so spectacular. You'll be surprised how many you come up with.