When the one asking the question cannot tell, what mayhem of thoughts, calculations and scenarios is piling up in your head and the answer is just being processed, he doesn’t have the patience to wait for the answer.
Do I really have to argue? Couldn’t I just focus on my work?
Sorry to be the party killer but you already know that you can’t.
More often than not we need to win others over and reason our decisions and solutions. We are forced to explain our work to people who don’t have the faintest idea what it is that we do and why the thing we just did is the best thing ever.
Sometimes those people are our bosses who stare at us over the table in our one-to-one. Other times it is the colleague (or spouse), who simply will not listen. Most often it is the customer, who has strong opinions but little knowledge of the matter at hand.
The less the other participant seems to understand us, the colder the sweat that creeps down your spine. What else is there to do? What else can I possibly say?
Start with these
If you feel a panicky urge to reassure the customer of your own expertise you might forget one of the most effective tools. By asking the right questions we bring our knowledge forth better than simply having all the right answers.
Yes, but… What if there needs to be a but? But what if the other person is simply wrong? What if I disagree completely?
The developer feels rightfully frustrated or misunderstood if the customer answers whatever they want instead of the question that was actually asked.
We have two opposing needs: the need for control and certainty and the need for creativity and uncertainty. Using both forces is a key to successful negotiations.
We would like to believe that our intelligence will help us change our world view based on facts. According to science it just ain’t so.
It is not easy to be wrong. Especially since we are always right – or at least that’s how it seems to us. But how can everybody be always right?
“What does quickly mean to you?” It seems like an utterly silly thing to ask. We learn as a child that quick is quick and that’s it. But it isn’t so simple at all.
I’m not a big fan of round of introductions. But we cannot avoid them so here’s a handy formula to make the experience less painful.
In Finnish language our word vuorovaikutus (interaction) reveals the nature of the act itself: vuoro means turn, and vuorovaikutus implies that interaction should indeed happen by taking turns, one by one.
These too are worth your while
This somewhat old and largely quoted TED talk is what they call a cornerstone content. The message is clear: people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So in order to sell, to inspire action, to win people over you need to start with why. That is how great leaders inspire action, but it is also how we as human beings inspire action. So start by watching this TED talk from 2009 to start with why.
What do powerful speakers around the world and across centuries have in common? They talk a lot about others, quite little about themselves. The green, blue, red movement has analysed influential speeches. It helps you to assess the tone and content of your speech and how it affects the outcome. Watch the excellent talk at TEDx Turku by Esteve Pannetier from 2013.