Show Me That You Hear Me

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Reading time: 1 min.

Here’s a great way to drain away the drama that distracts and upsets us at work and in life: demonstrate that we understand their perspective. “This is what I heard you say. Did I get that right?” Then ask that they hear ours.

Here’s a great way to prolong the drama: try to outwit, out speak, or out maneuver them.

We all want to be heard. And when we are heard, good things happen.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo courtesy of Didgeman.

The Value of Value

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Money, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Hire this person who has the experience or wait to find someone who fits our culture? Discount out of fear that this client will leave or hold out for clients who appreciate and pay for our value?

If we make decisions for expediency and against our values, we give away the value of our values.

Right?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: BullionVault Bullion bar in sea of coin via photopin (license)

Where the Really Good Solutions Are Hiding

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Most of the conflicts we see in the news and in our businesses are silly and wasteful.  Stuck in our positions, we snipe, grouse, and power-struggle. No solutions (especially those belonging to others) are good enough. We can easily lose faith in our ability to make progress.

This and all conflict melts away when we stop pushing for what what we want and start talking about why we want it. At this level, we tap our shared values and humanity; we open doors to trust. Then the really good solutions–ones invisible while we were stuck in our positions–finally appear.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: I write this because I value effectiveness and think we are better off working together. What about you?

 

Today’s photo credit: MTSOfan You Cannot See Me via photopin (license)

Give Consequences or Explore Them

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

We can give consequences so that people don’t screw up. “If you don’t complete this by Friday, we might as well kiss the Fortuna deal goodbye!” Or, “We really need to cut this check now or it’ll delay the project.” Threats like this can work in the short term. But they will damage trust and discourage future cooperation.

Or we can explore consequences together. “We know what Fortuna has asked for. How much can we deliver by Friday? What happens if we don’t? What else can we do?” It may take longer but we’ll build trust, encourage future cooperation, and probably arrive at better solutions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: nik.golding Looking at me via photopin (license)

At Each Others’ Throats

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

For the most part, we can all agree about the symptoms of a problem (say, the volume of traffic at rush hour or a spike in complaints from our clients). With some coaxing, we can all agree about the pain the problem causes. But it’s too easy to be (actively or passively) at each others’ throats when we discuss why the problem exists or what to do about it.

What’s going on?

At least three personal drivers cause us to fight over the why and what to do. These are

The need to be right. Ever since elementary school we’ve learned that there’s prestige and pride in being the one with the right answer. So we fight to be the one with the right answer and resist attempts to modify our positions.

The need to belong. We all want to fit and will lead or join a side just for the sake of affiliation. We see this (way too often) in public politics. People will vote for candidates who are bad for their greater interests simply because, “that’s what people like me do.”

The need to win. Our answers to “Why?” and “What to do about it?” can reflect our bias toward, emotional attachment to, or personal benefit from taking a particular course. We perceive that we will be stronger, better accepted, safer, or less criticized if we get our way. It’s mostly not logical; we first have our (often hidden) positions then come up with reasons to justify them.

We know that we can never really sway or be swayed when these drivers are in force.

But, good leader, we can get past them by changing the game. Instead of battling we ask, “How do you see the situation and what would a win look like for you?” We then say how we see it and what a win looks like for us. Both sides listen and confirm understanding. From this point of collaboration, better and more collaborative answers will pretty much automatically start to appear.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Peretz Partensky cc

Getting People to Listen

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
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“Here’s what you need to do…”

People will resist our ideas and never change (or they might maliciously comply) when we start with us, our positions, and our reasons. People will listen to our ideas and (potentially) change their minds when we start with them.

Starting with them includes respecting them, their ideas, and their absolute authority over whether they change or not. We can then build a bridge from their opening mindset to an exploration of their desired outcomes and to the obstacles that block those desires. We finish with exploring ways for them to win those desired outcomes and for us to win ours.

This is another case of giving to get. We get people to listen by listening to them.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Mr. Nixter cc

How to Argue or Negotiate by Listening

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

In an argument or negotiation, we often resist hearing the other person’s point of view. We are too busy formulating our responses. And we fear that if we acknowledge their perspective, we will be giving in, agreeing, losing.

Nopitty nope.

By listening and even acknowledging that they have a good point, we are only saying that we hear them. Whether we agree is a separate thing. By showing them that we understand, we build the relationship, give them the great gift of being heard, and invite them to lower their defenses to hear our side.

We make a big mistake when we think listening is ever time consuming, threatening, or expensive. It’s the exact opposite. All forms of agreement first go through listening and understanding.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Laura Ferreira cc

sale

Never Drop Your Price

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence
Reading time: 2 min.

When you are even a bit unsure about the value you deliver to your clients or your bosses, you will likely drop your price or accept less money. You will set the value bar low and it will take you years of proving yourself to raise it again. Along the way, it will be a struggle because you will want to do a good job while you will be feeling underpaid. And your clients or bosses will then likely not get all the results they want. No fun at all for anyone.

When you know the value you deliver for clients or your bosses and they know it, too, you get to charge top dollar. They will think they are getting a deal and you will feel well paid.

Start by having confidence in your own work through understanding your SweetSpot. Then foster trust and learn from your clients or bosses what is going on now (e.g. “we can’t turn our inventories quickly” or “my team is disorganized”), what result they want (e.g. “inventory turns surpass industry norms” or “my team is on top of things and our customers are confident we know what we are doing”) and how much, in dollars-euros-yuan-pounds, that result is worth to them. Then charge them a small percentage of that value.

If your boss or client still says they can’t afford you or that someone else if offering a lower price, do negotiate on value. While remaining dedicated to them getting the results they want, take away some of the deliverables in your offer, offer alternative products, see if they can handle some of the work themselves. Just do not drop your price.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: chrisinplymouth via photopin cc

cin

Impasse-Dissolving Recipe for Agreement

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

We can dissolve many impasses by first knowing what we will do if we can’t come to an agreement (so we can proceed without fear of making a bad agreement). Next we ask questions to understand how they will know that they have reached a winning agreement with us. Then we ask them to understand what a win would look like for us. Finally we work with them to answer the question, “What are all the things we can do to create both the wins they need and the wins we need?”

Sprinkle some goodwill, add a dash of trust, toss in some sincere desire and you have a recipe for agreement.

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: bitzi ☂ ion-bogdan dumitrescu via photopin cc

conflict

Defenseless

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

Tense negotiations, touchy customer service problems, and other emotionally charged situations usually involve two or more parties protecting themselves from each other.

No matter what form it takes–typically anger, aloofness, inquisitions, or passivity–such understandable protection has an awful side effect. In protecting ourselves, we squeeze off the very channels of communication we need to resolve the situation.

The solution is counter-intuitive: become defenseless. Unless we suspect (even a little) that we are in physical danger (in which case, use every defense you’ve got), we can lower our defenses and re-open those vital communication channels.

We can get there quickly and easily by reminding ourselves that we can handle anything that may happen. We can catch ourselves feeling tense. We can choose to trust ourselves and trust that the Other needs our understanding, relationship, and kindness more than she or he needs to win.

When we first lower our defenses, it can be scary for both sides. Soon it will feel useful, freeing, and powerful.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: I am pretty sure everyone can do this. If it seems too difficult, start small. Pick a small, benign conflict to learn from. Try talking through it and practicing with a trusted friend first.

PPS: This is not about communication tips and techniques. If you were to try a technique without first becoming defenseless, it will likely fail.

PPPS: When you become defenseless, new possibilities, approaches, and things to try will pop into your mind. When they do, try them.

PPPPS: It only takes one to have defenselessness work well for everyone. Shall it be you? Sure.

 

Today’s photo credit: Arno Meintjes Wildlife via photopin cc