Complete at least one task from the options below and report back your results through the survey link provided in your weekly email.

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Option 1 (Easy) - Batman vs Superman
Does your brother in law insist that Marvel is better than DC? Is your friend obsessed with Trader Joes’ brand water when you know that Fiji is better?

Stir up conversation that elicits opinions like these, then use your Validate & Pivot techniques to move them 1 notch closer towards appreciating your viewpoint. Bonus point if you’re so persuasive, they fully convert!

Option 2 (Medium) - FLIP
Look for an opportunity in your next two internal meetings to FLIP a question back to the group or to a colleague, even if you know the answer.

Option 3 (Hard) - Validate & Pivot
V&P a colleague in another department that is concerned/resisting a tough request from Sales. With your Validate, show that you understand, from their point of view, why saying “yes” to the request is really tough on them, on the workflow or drains them of resources.

With the pivot, make an “and” case (no “but!”) for why the request is still key to the success of the project or client.

Option 4 (Expert) - I Hear You, and
Reconnect with a client that had a previous objection, stalling the partnership, and ignite a new dialogue with them. Within that dialogue, use your Short, Open Questions, to open them up, build trust, and have ready your validate & pivot statements placing 90% of your effort and content on the validate component. This goal is not about converting a sale but building new dialogue where there was a previous barrier. 

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Your client research, questioning tactics and active listening abilities will help you deal with any objection or hostile question you face - or avoid them, altogether.


As you role-play and experiment with the language of Validate and Pivot, get feedback from your colleague’s. Practice makes permanent, not perfect - the only way to get truly better is by asking your peers for support and gaining perspective from another’s point of view! Did your partner feel validated? Was the pivot believable and relevant?

Your ability to use Flip and Validate & Pivot effectively creates a collaborative interaction with those you are speaking with. Resist the urge to meet hostile questions with hostility. These responses produce adrenaline and raise cortisol levels, inhibiting your ability to think clearly and problem solve.

Read more here: https://hbr.org/2016/03/when-an-argument-gets-too-heated-heres-what-to-say


These are your phone-a-friends when you find yourself up against a tough question or client objection.

First, Validate to show you understand the question which does not mean you agree. The key to success is in sincerely affirming the other person’s concerns - so much so you make them sound smarter than their original objection sounded!

Then, without using the word “but” or “however,” Pivot to the point of view, facts or stance that you want to focus on. Without the Validation, the audience’s walls go up, but with the Validation - they’ll naturally pivot with you!


Flip is when you redirect the hostile question from you to someone else. Below are three options - decide which strategy is best!

  • FLIP RIGHT BACK TO THE CLIENT by asking “tell me more about why you think that?” or “in what way?”  This gives the client a chance to expand on their opinion and gives you time to think of what to say or do next.

  • FLIP TO THE ROOM saying, “That's a great question what do all of you think?” You’ll get data on where other people in the room are and whether the hostile question is an outlier or an accurate read of the temperature of the room. Just remember: a hostile person is better than a hostile crowd, so read the room appropriately!

  • FLIP TO A COLLEAGUE or an expert in the room who is better suited to answer the question. You could open it up by saying, “What does my team think?”

When does the FLIP technique work best?

  • When it's a statement disguised as a question or it’s clear there’s more behind the question.
  • You need more time.
  • You genuinely need to or want to understand the question more.
  • You know the person well.
  • It’s not really a question for you to answer but for someone else in the room.

What's great about communication is: 

There is no perfect!

“But what if I make a mistake?” We’re all going to make mistakes. Who cares, “Get Over Yourself!”. Life isn’t about perfect. It’s about connected. It’s about memorable. It’s about everyone feeling something you want them to feel and remembering something you want them to remember.