Being Hip to Yourself

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What a teacher could teach you about communication

Communication: Who Knew?

I want to talk a little bit about communication today. What I’ve discovered in communicating is that when I have a certain frame of reference when I’m talking to someone I almost always draw that frame of reference out in them.

What do I mean by that?

Well, for example if I am sitting there thinking whether consciously or unconsciously that the person I’m talking to is a real jerk, then I kind of expect that type of person to emerge.

You know what? It often does.

However, when I am mindful about the context within which I am listening to someone and take a moment to change it up a bit, I have found that I often draw out exactly what I’m looking for or listening for.

I remember being at a conference and I was interviewed by a woman. I remember this sudden urge to tell her all about my accomplishments and achievements and I wondered why that was the case. Come to find out she was actually trying to draw out that information in me and was listening for it.
I resisted the urge, but I remember leaving thinking I wonder how she was able to pull that off so seamlessly. Today, I have come to the point where I believe that she was simply listening with an intention for me to discuss those things.

Although I didn’t, I was thoroughly tempted to discuss them. I believe that when we talk to other people and we listen from a very persistent perspective, we can often draw out those things that we are expecting.

I remember one sales teacher taught me that if I consistently get the same objection over and over again, it is usually because of me not because of the individual I am talking to. She said if you get the objection for example that the price is too high, then you typically are probably thinking of it as the price is too high, or worried you will get that objection.

It’s funny to say, but I noticed whatever objection I was afraid of getting was the one that typically came up. It is so weird, but I am convinced that so much of our discussion and conversation as human beings has a lot to do with how we are feeling and how the other person is perceiving how we are feeling and consequently how they are feeling.

The other day on a sales call, I was nervous about pitching the concept to someone.

They decided not to buy, and a few days later when I reviewed my notes I actually recorded part of the conversation. I heard how I asked. I was not convincing and I did not sound confident in what I was doing. I realize that if I had had more confidence I probably would close the deal. It really is these nervous interactions that cause the people that were with not to buy from us or not to feel comfortable. I’ve come to believe that if I am not 100% comfortable and what I am doing or selling, there is no way I can really convince others to go with me.

So I guess the old saying that you need to sell yourself first is true. Not because you need to believe in the product, but because you need to believe in the process before you can convince others to believe.


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