04/05/2014 08:00 pm ET Updated Jun 05, 2014

You Can't Start Flowing Until You Stop Resisting


It is important to remember and remind yourself of a basic tenet in Neuro Linguistic Programming and it goes like this:

The meaning of your communication is in its response

It seems simple, but it's very easy to forget and more importantly very easy to ignore when someone does not understand or disagree with what you are saying.

The last few months when I talked about one of the startups I co-founded -- WittyParrot, a small percentage of people would respond back with something like the following:

1. "This is cool copy/paste hack."

2. "You have taken copy/paste to a whole new level"

3. "This is copy/paste on steroids"

and so on.

For quite some time, I kept resisting that line of thinking and wanted to prove to them that WittyParrot is way more than a super-duper always-on cloud-based copy/paste service. Of course, my success rate was only 50 percent and the others would simply say that all said and done, this is simply how copy/paste should have been working.

More than 18 months of development and this is what some people are thinking. Why?

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend and expressed my frustration about the whole thing. His response was not what I was expecting -- "Raj, why are you resisting what people are saying. May be YOU are not seeing what they are seeing."

What am I not seeing?

For the first time, I stopped resisting and started thinking from their viewpoint.

For the next three days, I thought about all the places where the current copy/paste functionality is failing and the scenarios where the current copy/paste makes it super difficult to get the job done.

I had at least 25 scenarios and if I continued I could have got more. There were real problems with the current copy/paste and we had indeed "reimagined" the whole problem without even thinking about it.

Based on all the research, reflection and analysis, I wrote an article titled:

How we Reinvented Copy/Paste

The article explained close to a dozen scenarios where the current copy/paste functionality falls short (sometimes severely) and then goes on to explain how we reimagined the problem and the solution.

In less than two weeks, the article was shared more than 200 times and viewed close to 2,500 times. If I had stopped resisting those first reactions from a small number of people, I would have easily saved three weeks and a LOT of heartburn in the process.

Note to self: Before I start resisting anybody's viewpoint, I will take a few some time to see the situation from their viewpoint. I will get a bonus point if I can see the situation from their viewpoint AND capitalize on that to create an even better story.

What about you?