Whether you’re a Player or just an everyday average person trying to advance in this life, communication skills are of utmost importance.
Your mouthpiece (the way you talk and the words you use) must be surgically precise at all times. Why? Because what you say and the way you say it can get you into beneficial situations and get you out of sticky situations.
Other than learning how to think properly, you need to learn how to communicate with anyone because you never know when saying the right thing, in the right way, will help you get further in the direction you’re trying to go.
This is PART 2 of our discussion on Verbal Chess. You can catch PART 1 [HERE] if you missed it.
In this post we’re going to talk about breaking resistance when communicating with others.
Effective communication is like playing a game of chess, you always have to think a few moves ahead. Think of it like planning or plotting.
When you want a new cell phone you make a general plan. You look at the features of the phones, you budget, you shop around for deals – you think ahead.
When you have a big social event coming up, you shop for your wardrobe, compare prices, put together looks and get your physical appearance together – again, you think ahead.
People don’t do this when it comes to effectively communicating. You have to know what you want in advance, so you can steer the conversation in that direction. This doesn't have to happen all in a single conversation, but you should always be moving ahead with your plan.
When we talk about Leading conversations part of what we’re doing is “sneaking” in suggestions and breaking down a person’s natural resistance.
People have hundreds of thoughts rambling through their heads. And when you engage a person in conversation and present your thoughts and ideas, if their thoughts and ideas don’t agree with yours, they’re going to resist them.
This is part of being human and is perfectly natural. The mind is built to protect its concept of reality. When you challenge people’s beliefs, ideas, concepts and social conditioning, they resist.
Have you ever gotten into a heated verbal debate with someone and they got so pissed off that they wanted to get physical?
When a person can’t defeat you mentally, their last natural response is to defeat you physically.
Leading is the art of giving a request, idea or suggestion to someone with little resistance as possible.
As usual, this is a fairly deep subject and the space here is limited so I will cover just one aspect. If you get it, then you can develop these ideas further on your own.
So, if we want to pass on something to someone we first have to bypass their natural mental defenses – this is called ‘opening someone up’. You place them in a receptive state and then “sneak” in what you want.
Does this always work? No it doesn't. This is why I suggest practicing this technique with familiar people first. If it fails you’ll have a chance to analyze what you did wrong (usually the wording and delivery) and most of the time you and that person can laugh it off.
Let’s look at the following example: You’re a supervisor and you’re going to suggest a behavior change to one of your team members named Michael. He’s a good worker, but his work area is sloppy and other team members have complained.
YOU: How are you today Michael?
Michael: I’m doing good, how about yourself?
YOU: I won’t complain life’s good. You know, I have to say that I really appreciate your attention to detail. It’s really nice to be able to supervise someone that doesn’t need a lot of follow up. Maybe you need to show other people your stuff; it would definitely make for a more organized work environment.
Michael: Oh, OK, thank you.
(The compliment you gave was used to ‘open up’ Michael. The compliment was carefully designed to lower his natural resistance to the suggestion that is coming next…)
YOU: Speaking of organization, it’s funny to me that as detailed as you are (referencing back to the compliment), your work area looks pretty unorganized. You should tidy up the workspace. It’s difficult to look at sometimes. Thank you and I appreciate it. Please keep up the great work!
You smile and then leave.
You leave on a positive note to once again keep resistance at a minimum.
The average mind has difficulty processing two opposite “feeds” of information at the same time. In this example we have a compliment of work and a criticism of work.
What sticks with a person longer, praise or criticism? Most people (not all people) will dwell on the criticism which is what we want. We are calling out a change in behavior. But the effect of the criticism is lessened because there is also praise there.
Unless Michael is in a terrible mood (or just an unstable person), these two opposites will ‘balance out’. He will remember the criticism but it won’t upset him, although he may feel annoyed (an unfocused mind is easily moved by external events).
Some more brief examples:
“I like the way you do (that), but you should add a little of (this).”
“This is a nice area. Have you ever thought of going to (that) area?”
“Thanks for bringing me this salad. I don’t like this kind of dressing though, but I really appreciate it.”
“You want to win, don’t you? Don’t even think of giving up now because then you’re guaranteed to lose! Remember everything you've already accomplished in your life. You got this! ”
Calling for a change in a person’s behavior is just one way of Leading.
How powerful is Leading? Go back and really listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream,” speech with the Game you just got.
Keep your Game Tight!
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