Pain And NO GAIN!
Are you inflicting pain to others in your conversations? In the way you communicate? I know you don’t mean to. Right? Especially when we are trying to hire, retain and build congruency in our leadership teams, be more persuasive or simply communicating with our friends and family. Trust me. Every word and every emotional response is important.
“Listen with the intent to hear, not to respond.”
You ‘ve probably heard this before. . Perhaps, even tried it. For many of us, it’s not that easy to accomplish when we feel we have so much to say or can add to a thought or conversation. Therein lies the mistake.
Psychologists say that in fact, of the 42,000 thoughts we think every day, the vast majority of our thinking is about ourselves. When you think about it, (there is one) we are constantly asking “How will I navigate this?” “What do I do now?” “Where am I going? “I need to return to my check list today.” “Do I have the time?”
What is the common denominator? It’s the word “I”. When you communicate with others, is it all about the “I” for you? If so, you may be causing division and creating blockages to the team building and relationship building effort. In effect, you are not building trust, you could be undermining it.
Let me give you 2 examples of things NOT to do. Change these and improve your success 10 X and make everything easier. Interested?
When we communicate more effectively, EVERYTHING gets easier. All of life gets easier! Write that down!
First, recognize we all have communication habits. Habits that are impregnated in our subconscious mind, and so at first you may struggle a bit with these simple behavior shifts, and that’s okay.
Awareness is the first step to any transformation.
Here is the reward. You will instantly become better liked, more persuasive, you will build deeper relationships and really get “buy in” on goals and priorities. People will hear your ideas, and be more congruent with you. Sound too good to be true?
Here is the first awareness. Stop competing.
Allow other’s stories bring glory to themselves. Don’t deflate their story. We tend to want to “one-up” everyone else’ achievement and conversation. When we do this we are focused on “I”.
How? In a conversation, someone will explain a story that perhaps happened to them. For example, “We went to the beach and saw a shark.” Many will attempt to “one-up” the story, “Yeah, last week we were there on Saturday and saw several sharks by the fishing dock too.”
In this example, what is there to be gained by “one-upping” their story? For many, it’s not allowing the conversation to breathe, it’s really a put-down, an attempt to minimize their story and an attempt to elevate yourself. There was a lost opportunity here in allowing the other person to feel heard. By the way, I hear this all the time!
Instead, try asking “Tell me more about that?” “When were you there?” People want to be heard. Really heard. They will love you if you ask for more! Ask them to expand on their story.
Making yourself the center of attention, when your goal should be to learn about the other person’s wants and needs and successes robs them of feeling important and heard.
Number 2. Check your language patterns.
This is the first and easiest habit to adopt. In short, if you find yourself using phrases like this to begin any key point you wish to make, stop immediately:
- “It’s not hard.”… By using this language pattern you are suggesting that anyone facing a complicated problem should just adopt your controversial solution.
- “Can’t you just…” This suggests the problem confronting the other person is no big deal at all, if he or she would only do what you want them to do.
- “Look, I get it…” Usually, after saying this, people generally summarize a small portion of another person’s position, mostly the parts that would be easiest to undermine, and then offer a solution or an alternative. Truth is, you probably don’t get it!
Always, Always, Always. adopt Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People rule;
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
You’ll be so glad you did!
Have a great week.