Last week a client asked me to sit in on a branding meeting to help with some packaging decisions that needed to be made posthaste. At first, I sat back and observed. But after awhile of listening to two of the men in the room disagree on the philosophical positioning of the product, and actually get nowhere but farther away from understanding one another, I piped in. While I happened to agree with my client, which should have made things easier, all it did was help make things worse. My point of view added a third perspective thereby complicating matters and ultimately turning the conversation into a three-way, two-on-one.
I could not understand why one of the men, who was a consultant (let's call him Bob) didn't see what we were seeing. It was so obvious. Yet, he just stuck to his guns and defended his opinion. Finally, I got sick of feeling like I was in a tennis match with the ball perpetually being bounced off my head. So I said, "Wait a minute! Bob, why don't you want to use the copy that we want where we want it?" I needed to understand his resistance and asked him to explain his reasoning to me.