I walked away from a recent chemistry meeting, with a potential client, not feeling too good. The meeting had gone well, yet my intuition told me that I should probably say no. I didn’t make the call immediately but decided to wait. The following day, I did mention to the person who had put me in touch with the potential client. They said they had not heard back from the client yet and said they will let me know in due course. A week later, I heard back from this person saying that the client had chosen another coach for reasons that the other person was older. Despite having heard a No, I was relieved.
A friend of mine had been working on a proposal for a while and despite the competitive price and the uniqueness of her proposal, she did not win the deal. She was dejected and frustrated not so much for hearing a No but not knowing the details of no.
Life goes on and despite the rejections that we face in different aspects of our life, we need to focus on moving forwards and not waste our time immersing ourself in the sorrow that results from the No.
I know it feels horrible to be rejected, and for you to encourage yourselves and move forward, it is essential to bounce back and move on.
Rejection happens for one or more of the following reasons
1. Timing may not be right on account of budget constraints or there is no need at that point in time.
2. The person may not have the authority to say yes and they probably don’t want to disclose the same.
3. They don’t want to commit just as yet.
4. Lack of clarity about what you are offering and how it can satisfy their goal or need. Reluctance to express this complicates things further.
5. They are not interested in the product or deal or what you are offering but they are testing the waters and the market for the different ideas that exist.
6. Different perspectives, opinions, values and ethics.
7. They are unable to build a rapport and connection with you as yet to take the relationship forward.
8. They are envious of you and don’t want to see you progress.
In most of the above cases, people are not willing to directly communicate either the “No” or “the reasons for the No”. They are not willing to ask questions or be candid about budget constraints or acknowledge that they don’t understand all aspects of the deal or the project or what you are offering.
What can you do if you are at the receiving end of the rejection ?
1. If it didn’t kill you, it will make you stronger
This is the attitude to adopt to bounce back. It is natural to feel disappointed but there is no use sinking under that rejection because you will get caught in a negative vicious cycle.
2. What have I learnt from the experience
Every experience teaches you something as long as you are willing to let go of the negativity and experience the learning. Yes, it is hard to practice and still worth attuning your mind to view the experience as lessons learnt. Sometimes, on hindsight, you realize that the No was a blessing in disguise.
3. What, if any, can you do better or different
Not all things work with everyone. Can you approach it differently? What would it take on your part to step out of your comfort zone and use a new perspective. Take support from your family and friends and from those who can be a sounding board to you and enable you to bounce back.
When you are made aware about the reasons for rejection, take it as a feedback. You can use this to improve your strategy, where necessary.
Rejection can be viewed positively by looking at it as knowledge and experience gained. You will gain insights towards achieving your end goal. Engage in positive self talk because negativity will cause you more harm than good.
5. Wake up call
Rejection sometimes proves to be a wake up call to change your paths or methodology to achieve the desired vision.
Rejection is Disappointing. It Is Not The End Of The World.
A friend of mine is candid about communicating his no or rejecting something. I communicate directly to people when I have to say no. Be candid and courteous but not blunt.
As a leader, do you want to keep someone hanging out there, without communicating directly or letting them know the reasons?
Are you leading by example by shying away from communicating the real reasons? Most things can be communicated with reasons and are you treating people the way they want to be treated.
How do you deal with rejection ?
How do you communicate your No?