Tuesday 9 July 2013

Let's understand each other instead

Yesterday's blog was entitled 'What part of "No" do you not understand'. It looked at others' (especially those in call centres) reactions when I say "No" and the seeming need to persuade me of the error of my ways.

I often get asked "Isn't that what NLP (Neuro Linguistic programming) does - try to manipulate others into doing what you want them to?" The answer, when I teach and coach influencing and communication techniques, is "No."

I realise in this instance it might be useful to explain my reason for "No" rather than answer as I did yesterday.

Consider for a moment how you'd influence the seeds in the above packet or any plant for that matter? You might try to put them where you want them to grow but unless that provides the right conditions for growth for that type of seed or plant you won't get very far. After all this won't work:
With the seeds above we're lucky as the perfect conditions for growth are provided on the back of the packet. That is we know when and where to plant them, how far apart and what care and attention they need to grow. We won't be able to precisely determine the direction of growth but we can do our best by giving them access to all the relevant conditions they need to flourish. Remembering of course what works for these seeds won't necessarily work for other seeds - that is they each have their own set of conditions that work's perfectly for them.

Those we wish to influence in life are no different. We need to understand what makes them tick too. If we could buy them from a garden centre then the reverse of their packet would tell us things about them such as: their objectives, current challenges, influence within the organisation, alliances, preferences for communication, beliefs and past experiences about the topic we're wishing to influence them on and so on. We'd also come with a packet with similar information. That is we'd both get to understand each other better and what we need in order to flourish.

Communication in this sense is then allowing both sides to understand each other's point of view. This allows both parties to understand whether the needs of one can be met by the other. If I can't meet your needs I will know and so will you. It's certainly not about me trying to shoe horn what I can do into your business.

When wishing to influence others understanding each other first will increase the likelihood of that influence being successful - for both parties.  

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out

For more on the use of nature to landscape your life organisationally or personally do see my Facebook page or Pinterest board.

Blog 10/31 in the ultimate blog challenge for july.

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