This is written by Michael Oliver. It coincides with my professional and personal experiences. I have been on both the receiving and giving end of effective and non-effective communication connections with people. Michael’s insights are well stated and worth passing on…
If you allow your own ego, beliefs and life’s experiences interpret or assume what another person is saying, without finding out first what they are meaning – you’ll likely lose their attention and trust!
Why? Because unless you are right on the mark, your assumption causes a break in the rapport and flow of the conversation or dialogue. It’s no different than treating people’s comments, questions and concerns as being objections to be overcome. It tells the other person that you’re not really listening and nor do you really care to understand.
For example. Have you ever said something like this in response to what someone has previously said;
That must have been awful for you
What if it was not THAT awful for them! Or not awful at all? Maybe what they were saying sounded awful! Maybe there was a positive outcome, which you didn’t hear because you didn’t give them time to talk about it – or even ask!”
Instead you could have asked; And how was that for you?
Now you would have heard their history without it being interrupted by yours!
How about…; I know how you feel!
Really? Do you? People’s real feelings are very unique to them. It’s also almost impossible to know how someone really feels unless you really dig deep,
Instead, find out more and ask a question; “So how did you feel about that?”
Or… If I were in your situation, I would be frustrated as well
Do you think the other person really cares if you would be frustrated as well! The story is about them not you!
Instead you could ask; So tell me more about that?
Detach from your need to use these gratuitous remarks and tell people what you think. This is especially important if you are in a conversation with them, when it’s critical to establish and maintain rapport.