Friday, June 27, 2008

Why are you talking?

I’m listening to conversations around me. Nobody seems to be listening. Everyone is just talking. What the point?

Do you talk to communicate your ideas, or just to hear your self speak?

If you talk to hear yourself speak, then you can stop reading here, cause I’m talking to the other group.

We talk to communicate an idea. And if we are open minded, we talk, so that someone can hear our ideas, and maybe give us feedback on what we’ve said. That, in other words, is a conversation of sorts.

Lets take a point I’ve just over heard.

Bob – I don’t like the penalties in Soccer.

Artie – Well, they have to decide somehow after the game, how to settle who the winner is.

Bob – Yeah, but I don’t like ‘em.

Artie – Yeah, well, I guess they are not [blah blah blah]

This is a trivial example, but it illustrates how we talk, and how we don’t listen.

Bob merely wants to state his opinion. He doesn’t want to hear about the whys or why nots. He just wants to say what he thinks. For Bob to open his mind to further information, he will first need his statement heard. So, Artie needs to say something like ‘Yes (affirmation that I have heard your opinion) many people don’t like the penalties in soccer. (slight pause)’ And now is the opportunity Artie has to say what he wants to say.
But if Artie wants Bob to hear, then he must first hear what Bob has said. Bob will feel validated, even if Artie doesn’t agree with him, and he will then be more willing to hear what Artie has to say.
Point is – figure out why you are taking. If its just to talk, then keep going – no one will stop you. But if you want to be heard, you will have to take into account the stuffing between the ears of the one you want to talk to.

Seth Godwin talks about knowing the brain you are talking to in ‘All marketers are liars’, if you want a bit more information. Its not the low down on communication skills, but its an informative book designed to get people thinking about what they are saying and who they are saying to.

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