The world is competitive, and the business world cannot be different. So, when there is striving for excellence opposition is inevitable. Show me an exceptional entrepreneur, and I will show you a business person who is an expert in handling opposition.
Every top business manager has scars of opposition to show for their success. Most Captains of mega industries and corporations have equaled or more opposition than the struggling entrepreneur. The difference is their opposition handling prowess.
What are these oppositions your competitors have handled well?
Oppositions are challenges, rejection, blackmail and attack targeted to your policies, products, personality, and services. Though these oppositions come in a different form or shades. For instance, when your products and services receive less patronage, it is a measure of opposition.
Also, when your management team no longer come to term with your policy, these are indicators of opposition and resistance.
I don’t think I need to remind you that every business is about people. Your success or failure depends on the acceptability of the people. This includes the customer or clients and your workers. In other words, you have crises on hand if you have unsatisfied clients and customers coupled with an unhappy team member. At such times your skill in handling opposition will be the saving grace. You should know what happened to you is not as important as what happens in you. Your opposition is not as important as your reaction to it.
So how do you handle opposition?
1- An opposition is good:
The first step to handling opposition is to accept it as a healthy development. That is, you should see it as a mirror that will show both the positive and negative side of your business. Opposition as conflicts is neither good nor bad. The same opposition that others see as stumbling blocks, some use that as a stepping stone. Therefore, you could be buried in either the business market or soar above your competition. It is a matter of choice.
An entrepreneur who sees conflict and opposition as bad and the one who celebrates it as a good omen are both right. It is the outcome that will prove their belief. That will be a way of evaluating your progress or otherwise.
2- It shows you are on the right track:
As an entrepreneur, relate the comment of your attackers with your current result. If you discover they are only trying to ridicule you to gain cheap popularity, then that reveals your winning edge. If the opposition is coming from your competitor to blackmail you, then there is something to thank God for. When unfounded opposition comes from your business rival, that should reveal you are doing something great, then keep up the good job.
3- Opposition reveals your weakness:
When your customers are not happy with you and your services, definitely complain and rejection will come. It is time to take stock and check where you missed the point. Opposition shows what you’re not doing right. In the same vein, rejection and opposition may be pointing to the archaic method of doing things. Why do companies re-brand? They discover low patronage or new competitors. When you view rejection and opposition negatively, you’re bound to stay at the lowest rung of the ladder in business.
The best way of handling opposition is to do what your competitors are doing better. Change plan, method, and approach. If you can’t think out of the box, you’ll be bitter against your team, clients, and competitors.
In handling opposition rightly you may need to hire professionals in the needed field to put your company back on track. Part of handling opposition correctly is to spy on your competitors or other entrepreneurs doing well. Then you can duplicate that idea in a new form.
4- Evaluate yourself:
It is important to be the right person first before expecting your team to be of the right people. Remember, people buy into the leader before buying into his vision. Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur and the president of the corporation, you command so much power. With this power at your disposal, the tendency to discountenance genuine opinion of some lower member of your team is possible. Consequently, opposition in words or action is inevitable but if you are a progressive and dynamic leader you’ll learn from your team no matter their status in the organization.
Mind you, no organization grows beyond its leader. So whatever growth you wish, it takes the joint input of both you the leader and your team. Bury your pride and learn from others. If you’re not a good listener, you may mistake a good idea from your subordinate as rebellion and opposition.
5- Maintain your stand:
Abbey opined there are times the customers are not right. In other words, either the customer or you are not always right. At times team members who could not see beyond their nose see your tenacity of purpose as hardness and arrogance. But once you’re sure of your direction, keep up your stand.
Handling opposition from customers requires a degree of diplomacy and reassurance. Don’t forget, you can’t keep all customers even with your best effort. You can handle this type of opposition by having a standard. If the customer knows you with a brand or policy, most of them are likely to fall in line against the few who are against you.
Never compromise on generally accepted business ethics to satisfy the few disgruntled clients or customers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to know, not everybody in your team believes in your vision or work for it. If your passion fizzles out in the face of daunting challenges, your chance of success is doubtful.
Successful entrepreneurs turn the opposition and challenges to opportunity and platform for greater success.
Successful entrepreneurs, who over time had weather the storm of an adversary, opposition, rejection, and failure, succeeded in handling opposition to their advantage. If you’re always bothered about every uncomplimentary statement from customers and workers, then you have no reason to be in business. As a businessman, you need the good, the bad and the ugly to stay afloat.
Are you facing any opposition currently?
Have you dealt with an opposition in your business lately?
I want to learn from your experience in the comment box below.
By Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph is a freelance writer, blogger, and author.