Friday, August 17, 2018

But I Told You - Why don’t you get it? (How can I reach this person?)

Have you ever found yourself wondering WHY someone just doesn’t get something that’s SO obvious?

I know I have.  I’m not proud of it, but I’ve caught myself doing that.. maybe more times than I really want to admit, even to myself.

Still, it’s a frustrating experience… EVERY TIME.

So how can we avoid that frustration?

We can ignore it, BUT… that won’t really solve the problem, only make us numb to it.  So that’s not a good solution.

Shifting Focus: From Them to You

For just a moment, let’s shift our focus from “that person” to you.

I have an important question to ask you.

Do YOU prefer someone to TELL you what to do, OR… for you to figure it out yourself?

All of us need training.  That training might come from life (i.e. University of Hard Knocks) or another person.

Very few of us really follow what someone else says unconditionally.  If we can make sense of what they’re telling us, we might follow their advice, but if we don’t really “get it,” we probably aren’t going to “follow it.”

Now Back to Them

So what does this have to do with getting that other person to learn what we’re advising (telling?) them to do?

Yes, we’ve TOLD them what to do, BUT…

Do they REALLY get it?

They might be able to repeat the words we shared with them, maybe even intelligently paraphrase those words.

BUT… do they really understand WHY?

It might be a good idea to ask that person some questions:

Does that make sense?
WHY does that make sense?

Can you see any downsides?
What upsides do you see?

Do you think this is important?
WHY do you think it’s important?

What does asking these question accomplish?

Unless they’re complete morons (or completely honest individuals), they’ll answer the 1st question of each 2-question set correctly, BUT… then it’s important to follow up and have them substantiate that “right answer” by using their own words to explain WHY they think it’s the right answer.

This exercise will do one of two things:

1. They’ll either talk themselves into why you’re right about the advice (or direction) that you’re giving them, or…

2. They’ll have cracks in their explanation, and you’ll be able to see what they’re “missing.”

It’s important for you to listen carefully to make sure they’re really grasping things.  It gives you a chance to redirect them by clarifying the portions they’re not getting.  You’ll see where to modify WHAT YOU’RE SAYING (so that they’ll get it more clearly).

BUT… this exercise might do something else entirely different.

3. You might see a crack in your armor and see that you need to modify what the ADVICE YOU’RE TELLING THEM.  (Because we’re not always perfect, either.)

If you’re like most people, you just people to “do stuff” and not have to worry about it anymore and simply just will continue telling them what to do.

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