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How to Work Through Conflicts Compassionately with Nate Regier [Episode 687]

Nate Regier, CEO of Next Element Consulting and author of Conflict without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading with Compassionate Accountability, joins me on this episode.



  • There are compassionate ways to require results. Conflict is the gap between what you want and what you are experiencing at any point in time. Andy reflects on how this applies to sales.
  • Sales objections are not personal. They express the buyer’s angst. Nate teaches reps how to discern more quickly and effectively what gaps the seller and buyer have, and how they can work together to close them.
  • Nate is a psychologist ‘in recovery.’ Nate had a psychology mentor who taught him, “If you’re working harder than your client, then something’s wrong here.” In sales, the seller and the buyer need to work together to close gaps.
  • As a therapist, Nate realized people don’t come to therapy because they want to change; they want the pain to go away.
  • If a sales rep misidentifies the gap and doesn’t understand what the buyer is trying to accomplish, they will be at odds with the buyer and experience resistance.
  • Compassion requires seeing through the eyes of the other party. Start with openness. Disclosing your plans and agendas leads to understanding. Be transparent in your motivations.
  • Andy builds trust with MICE — Motives, Integrity, Competence, and Execution. Customers sense if you are not transparent in your motivation or have no integrity.
  • There is always a potential drama. You can play the role of a persecutor (‘It’s everybody else’s fault’), a victim (‘I’m the problem.’), or a rescuer (‘I‘m the solution.’). Nate avoids adopting these roles but asks questions, instead.
  • You can spend your money on those who promise to make the pain go away, or with someone who offers a path for change and transformation. The best reps help people understand what they want to accomplish.
  • When it’s a collaboration, the buyer feels better about the outcome. They have participated with skin in the game. The solution is rewarding when they have ownership of it.
  • It’s OK to talk about pain points, but quickly move up to ‘Where do you want to be? When that happens, how will you feel? What emotional endstate are you striving for?’ This identifies the gap. Identify the problem.
  • Nate’s one thing to leave with you: Always hold on to the belief that both you and your customer are worthwhile, capable, and accountable. Never forget that; always act to manifest those things and things will turn out OK.