“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.” – George R.R. Martin,
Daily Nugget of Gold 1196
Some Points to Consider
How do you feel when someone rams facts down your throat proving you are wrong on something? Are you happy they did that and glad to have been made aware of your mistake? Or do you perhaps feel some combination of anger, hurt, embarrassment, or distrust?
As we go through life we gather little bits and pieces of information along the way and those little bits and pieces begin lodging in our subconscious mind which is responsible for our survival. What does that deeper part of our mind do with the information it’s being fed? It forms likes and dislikes. For instance, have you ever wondered why some people get so entrenched in one political point of view or another? They’ve likely selectively gathered up certain stances and as they’ve done that, they’ve created for themselves subconscious underpinnings of their point of view.
It would take a tremendous amount of change to free them from such conclusions because it isn’t just a matter of changing one’s mind- the conscious mind. No, it likely runs deep down to level of why one person loves clams and another person is disgusted by them.
So what can we do to help people when they may be wrong? It seems that all human beings have one thing in common, they want to matter. Almost everyone wants to feel important, don’t they? If we can use that as a basis for understanding them, we are much more likely to be successful in persuading them if we desire to. Part of this is learning the art of listening. We want to listen in such a way where we are truly focused on what they are trying to say. If we instead are trying to come up with our response while they are making their point, we’ve stopped listening to what they are saying, haven’t we? If we couch what we are saying with genuine praise for their good qualities, that helps people be more receptive to our own message.
Self-help guru Anthony Robbins says that we want to ask ourselves before we begin, “What is my desired outcome?” If we do that we’ll often discover that what we really want to do is to build true friendship and trust more than anything else. We can have a happy marriage, for instance, or we can be so effective at proving we’re right that we lead the other person to divorcing us. Which outcome would you prefer?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to improve my own communication skills in regard to listening?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.