The science of solution aversion

Have you ever heard a quick ‘no’ to a pet project of yours? Maybe, ‘That just won’t work, we’ve tried that before’ or ‘We don’t have time for that this quarter.’

From our friends at Irrational Labs we get a rundown on recent research from Duke University into politician reactions to potential climate change policies.

This work introduces us to a concept known asĀ solution aversion, such that the way a solution is pitched or presented has a dramatic impact on whether your audience believes that a problem exists at all.

In other words, if you start by pitching a solution that challenges previously held beliefs you’ll get more of a fight on whether there is anything worth solving in the first place!

Some suggestions from the article on how to fight this:
Agree on the problem first without discussing any specific solutions
Analyze your audience – what do they believe, how do they normally look at problems like this (don’t know? Ask!)
Present diverse solutions and get feedback

I know that I have faced this before where you’re too eager to get someone to agree with your approach rather than starting incrementally in getting that other party to agree that it’s something worth solving. Once you have that, you can take the next step toward fixing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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