Getting Your Counter Ready

There’s been a lot of classic telly recommended during lockdown.

I ignored most calls to re-watch. Yet one show I momentarily (and happily) dipped back into was Spooks. (Known in some territories as MI-5).

Of the 86 hour-long episodes, I saw a two-parter (first two episodes of season four, seeking bombs planted by an American-based eco-terrorist group called Shining Dawn). It involved the temporary recruitment of an innocent member of the public.

This excerpt of dialogue struck me. Our new ‘recruit’, Tash, wavers with her ‘handler’. The spy boss interjects to tells her its for her country.

What’s the country ever done for me?

Educated you. Provided you with opportunities to find employment. Offered financial assistance if you can’t. Ensured you were clothed, housed and fed. Protected rather than persecuted you and allowed you to choose your own government. You’re one of the luckier citizens of this planet.

Where did they get this one from? Actually I get paid a minimum wage, lectured on binge-drinking, bombarded with bills and final demands, won’t fix the tube so I can’t get to work in time, lies about what’s going on in the world and treats me like shit unless it thinks it can get something out of me.

At which point, the handler calls a truce. Injecting a touch of levity in the style of a tennis umpire; “ok, deuce, deuce”.

Leaving aside the political or moral merits of either stance above, it reminded me that there are obstacles we face which are not objections.

There is opinion in one hemisphere which differs to that of its opposite.

Without necessarily going to the extremes of pole versus pole.

They even may not be too far from the equatorial centre. Yet do sit on one distinct half of the meridian.

We all know the objection handling framework of the training room.

From those peddled by big-ticket consultancies, to ones founded inside the field of psychology, all the way to personally developed steps.

With acronyms varied and potentially misleading (like ARC, APAC, & LAER/LAARC) and using special words, like ‘cushioning’ or the infamous ‘feel-felt-found’.

To respond to an objection with the playground, zero-empathy, “yeah but” is never advisable.

Yet to simply state that there can be an alternative view might on occasion lead to a debate.

At least an acknowledgement that another stance exists which in itself can precede future compromise.

In the above almost comic exchange, the contrarian view struck a chord.

Although it must be mentioned, that it did not change the overall direction.

Yet it did cut the person exhibiting the cantankerous view a bit of slack and grant her some grace.

So in a way, worked.

By gently standing up for yourself you can gain admiration.

Get on equal footing.

There will be an entrenched position that a certain type of your prospects will take.

Even as part of your ‘listening’ routine, you will eventually need to articulate a different path.

How you put that across is key to your ambitions.

For quota and country.

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