BACK TO TOP

Rejection, a new way to experience it

When was the last time you experienced rejection? Was it following a job application? Perhaps you put forward a brilliant idea that was ignored or discounted by someone else on your team?

Rejection feels dreadful and most people will do whatever they can to avoid it. We can look at it on the flip side, however, and recognise that rejection can also be the start of something new and exciting.

How does rejection feel for you?

As humans, we are programmed to avoid rejection at all costs. Rejection from the tribe meant almost certain death to our distant ancestors. We have evolved to avoid rejection as a very natural survival mechanism but in the modern world, this impulse can be counterproductive. If we fight these instincts we can build something positive out of these emotions. 

When we fear public speaking, we fear rejection. When we don’t make a sales call, it’s because we are afraid the answer will be ‘no’. Rejection is a problem when it starts to dictate the way we operate our businesses. 

A simple mindset change will dramatically shift the way you feel about rejection. Instead of worrying about what the worst outcome might be, consider that there might be many positive outcomes from an interaction. 

What could be worse than rejection?

Our fear of rejection can sometimes lead us down a dark path. We want the world to see us as friendly, kind people so sometimes we lie and deceive people to hide rejection. 

Lies, deceit, and dishonesty can wear away the integrity of your business. Rejection can hurt, but it can move us forward. Uncertainty, on the other hand, leads nowhere.

Sometimes you’ve got to rip off the bandaid to help better serve your customers, grow your business, and motivate your staff. 

How to handle rejection? 

When you have to answer the question of employing someone, buying their product, or trying their new ideas, there are only three possible responses:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Maybe later

By being honest about your intentions early, everyone can move on. The first two options are fairly clear. Use option three only if you mean it. In that case, give the other person a set date when you will be ready to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

Don’t keep them guessing! Not knowing can be worse than ‘no’. 

What do you think?

Do you agree we could all be more happy and productive if we were a little more honest with each other? Next time someone tries to sell you an idea, product, or service, will you be able to override your fear of getting turned down and give them an honest answer?

As published in Nepean News & Western News:

Nepean News article on rejection

Feature image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

About Susan Rochester

BSc MHRM FIML
Susan Rochester has been managing director of Balance at Work since 2006. Susan has a natural tendency to balance analytical thinking with an optimistic outlook to set direction and solve problems. She is an effective facilitator and constantly creates new and more effective ways of doing things, motivated by helping others to achieve their goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What they say about us

"Coaching with Ben gave me a great opportunity to reflect and explore strategies, tips, and tools to improve ways of working and to work through opportunities & challenges. I really valued the focused discussion on specific areas to support improved ways of working, overcoming challenges & harnessing opportunities. I highly recommend working with Ben."

- Manager, National NFP

"In a challenging role in a new organisation, coaching with Paula was the ideal time to reflect, problem-solve, brainstorm options and arm me with next steps in all areas - from staffing, internal politics and relationships to tackling key initiatives. The sessions were by video and face to face, both equally effective. Using video allowed for easy integration of sessions into my busy workdays without any hassle. Paula’s style of coaching quickly built trust so I felt safe being vulnerable, quickly getting to the heart of a number of issues and propelling me and my performance forward significantly!"

- Executive GM, People and Culture

"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. ​"

Jessica Hill - Head of People and Culture, Choice

"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."

Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia

"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead employee and team development sessions."

Shaun Stanfield - Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet

Join our community