Steve, one of our clients, had the idea of the century. Unfortunately, nobody was buying it. He had been presenting it to management with zero success.
He brought this idea to his first presentation in the Transforming Your Presentation Skills workshop.
His attitude was, “You idiots! You need to really get this.”
Of course no one got it. It’s no surprise that nothing happened with an approach like that.
It’s never smart to present to a group of people you feel are idiots. In Steve’s case, he just couldn’t find anything good about the people he was talking to.
At the workshop, that was the first thing we changed.
And when he increased his affinity for the people in his audience, everything was different. Suddenly everyone was willing to listen to him. It was a dramatic shift.
Whatever you’re thinking about the person (or people) you’re speaking with is clearly transmitted directly to them in ways you might not realize.
The way you look at them, the tone of your voice, everything gets through.
We humans are WAY more telepathic than is commonly realized. We think we’re hiding our thoughts, but we’re not. We can’t! We’re energetically broadcasting everything in many ways.
Your attitude toward the other person reflects your opinion of them. And people are VERY sensitive to others’ opinions of them. It’s one of the things they are MOST sensitive to.
People will respond more quickly and more forcefully to your opinion of them than to the words you are using. They will do this every single time.
If you’re talking to your boss and you have the opinion he has more authority and influence over your future than you do, that belief gets transmitted and puts you in a “one down” position. This is going to mess with your intention and negatively impact any conversation you have about requests, promotions and raises.
If you’re are talking to your teenage child and you have the opinion they don’t know as much as you do, or that they’re making a mistake with their life, this is going to provoke an immediate and strong reaction that is not going to help your cause.
Anytime you have the opinion the other person is wrong, you’re asking for trouble.
Your opinion of them is the FIRST thing they pick up.
It is what they respond to.
This works in positive ways too. Did you ever have a teacher who thought you were really smart, good, creative? How did you respond to that teacher?
Does this mean you have to have a phony opinion of people? Do you have to pretend that they’re right when you really think they’re wrong? No! You need to stay true to yourself.
Pretending will work against you. When the other person senses you’re pretending, you will come across as condescending. And that spells doom.
If you want to be successful in one of these difficult situations, you need to take your attention OFF the negative opinion you have, and find things that you do like and do respect about this person. You need to genuinely prepare yourself for the conversation.
This is a skill. You have to practice it to master it.
When you can do this in any conversation, with any person, under any circumstance, even when they’re pushing your buttons, then you are on the road to becoming a world class communicator.
Be the cause!