To reach an understanding, speak their language – Vistelar Training – Tactical Communication
Good morning. Coach Bob Lindsey here. This morning I’d like to speak with you about something that happened to me recently.
When a person came to my home to render services (and that person was a craftsman and very well versed in what he was doing) as the project moved along, things were not going as I thought they should. And when I attempted to speak with the craftsman about
this, he became very defensive using words like, «I know what I’m doing.»
And I was listening empathetically to him, because I really wanted to know what was going on and how things were going to go. But no matter what I tried, I could not understand what he was saying, and he didn’t seem to be able to put it into my words.
At that point, I decided to use the art of paraphrase, and I did it in such a way as I listened to words that were familiar to him in his craft. And as I repeated back to him what I thought he said using those specific words (which were everyday language to him in his craft) then he began to immediately engage me in conversation. He became less threatened and recreated a venue where we could speak back and forth. And it had a good conclusion.
The matter in front of you is when you are listening empathetically and you’re hearing words that are not familiar to you; not only is it okay, but it’s necessary for you to ask, What do those words mean? Not all people are like you and I, and a lot of times they don’t understand what we’re saying. All of us can listen empathetically and use the words of the other person in their language. But are we willing to do this? This takes effort and it takes the willingness to learn as we are doing.
I did not realize how important it was for that craftsperson to hear his words repeated back to him and wrapped into the meaning that I was trying to convey, and it actually established a venue for us to converse and to agree to cooperate with each other towards a successful conclusion.
I hope that this message is important to you, because oftentimes when you meet someone and are speaking to them professionally (and perhaps even personally) the person knows what they want to say. You, as the listener, may very well think that you know what they mean.
But words are important. Your words are important, but their words are important to them. And you having the understanding of what their words mean (for instance, in this matter, [a] craftperson’s words) need[s] to be explained and then used in paraphrase in order to create a successful conversation and conclusion.
All of us can do these things. Are we willing to? In my case and I’m sure in your case, once you are willing to do this, you will reach successful conclusions also.
I look forward to speaking to you in the future. I hope you have a wonderful day.