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Rejection Training

Three steps to make rejection a positive influence in business

Rejection Training
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We spend a lifetime running away from rejection. Yet it is all around us – everywhere we look. In each signpost and milestone of life. It is there. It is at the workplace, in our personal lives and even in the sports we watch. Rejection is part and parcel to the human experience, yet most people deal with it by trying at all costs to avoid it altogether.

We don’t teach people how to deal with rejection in schools, we don’t teach people how to deal with rejection at work or in the military or anywhere else, so is it any wonder that folks hate rejection, and we therefore avoid it in all we do?

It seems to me that we need a bit of rejection training in order to be more creative and innovative at work. And that training will allow us to not only deal with rejection in a better way, but it will also allow us to thrive. Here are three things we can do right away to help start the training and turn rejection into prospects:

1. Turn Rejection Into Opportunity

All rejection comes down to is fear. We are so afraid of rejection because it means that our product or service is deemed not good enough. Not up to par and not desirable.  We then take this rejection and apply it personally – one of the biggest mistakes I see in most business today. Especially with sales teams but not only there. I have seen it in HR departments, too, when there is an inability to recruit that perfect candidate. No matter where it appears, this fear of the unknown can be crippling.

But if we simply reframe the problem, then we are using creativity and innovation to help us once and for all be rid of the fear of rejection and turn it into opportunity.  Instead of framing our misfortune by looking at the candidate that got away who would have been a perfect hire, lets instead reframe the misfortune into an opportunity.  What other candidates were out there that may have been a better fit? Do we really know if that was the perfect candidate? I have hired over a thousand people before – and I promise you it is no science. What seems perfect on paper is sometimes not perfect in reality.

By simply reframing the problem and looking instead at opportunities, we are far more able to deal with the rejection – whatever it may be – and look instead at the positives that it creates even if they are not readily or immediately recognizable.

2. Make it part of the Routine

Shit happens. It really does. I am in no way telling you that rejection will never occur to you ever again if you embrace these creativity and innovation tools. But I have noticed that some of the most powerful companies and superstars in various careers have made rejection a part of their daily routine. So much so that nothing sticks. Like Teflon.

If we make rejection part of our daily routine, we don’t feel its immediate brunt as it becomes more common. That proposal that was rejected by the client? OK – part of the normal routine. Let’s get another one out the door with some tweaks and hopefully it will get approved. That huge RFP that you put out that didn’t turn into a contract?  It’s part of the normal ebb and flow of the business. Let’s try again.

When we make rejection a part of our daily routine, we take the stigma out of it and make it expected instead of something to loathe and run away from. And when you do that – then guess what? Rejection isn’t all that bad – we become used to it. And when rejection loses its scary fear, it becomes another thing we endure daily to overcome.  Like traffic or bad weather.

3. Learn all you can

Rejection creates a prime opportunity to learn. Yet so many people are emotionally invested in whatever they get rejected over that they are unable to see the forest for all the trees. And what ends up happening is that we miss a very important opportunity to learn from the rejection.  It is literally one of the world’s best real-life chances to fix something that isn’t working. Yet so many of us don’t even want to talk about what is not working, and we lose an amazing, powerful innovative and creative spark.

Rejection is one of nature’s most perfect ways of telling us that what we are doing is not working, and to change course.  There are tons we can learn from that.

Is it a particular offering that isn’t working?  Is it the market we have selected? Is it the approach or the strategy that isn’t working and led to this rejection? By not asking these questions and many more, we rob ourselves of potential creativity and innovation that can make us better in every way – both as a company, as individuals and as an industry.  So many times we blow right past these chances to become something greater after rejections. Let’s not let another day pass.  Next time we are faced with rejection, lets learn all we can from it and embrace the learning potential.

Rejection in its forms is a tough thing to deal with. Both at work and personally. And while most people spend their lives running away from it, we instead need to face it head on.  There is no real creativity and innovation created when we spend our time running away from the fire of difficulties, for it is in these difficulties that the embers of creativity are born. The material is out there for you to fulfill your God given greatness in your industry, but you have to pay attention to the signposts along the way to succeed.

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Banker Magazine March 2023 issue.
About the author
Nir Bashan is a Top 100 nonfiction book of all time author and speaker. He helps folks become more innovative and creative at work.
Published on
Feb 23, 2023
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