Do you avoid having a business conversation because it might be uncomfortable? Does it seem that the other person just does not understand your point of view?
I participate in a group of business advisors who gather three times a year to learn together. We just met for two days in San Diego. It was important for me to learn how and why to have the slightly uncomfortable communications that I often avoid.
The first thing to understand is that the other person’s point of view is as valid to them as yours is to you. Before the conversation, it is important to try and put yourself in their shoes and look at things from their point of view. At my recent meeting of business advisors, we actually did some role playing to better understand one another’s positions.
We then had to determine if we had already made up ‘stories’ or ‘views’ about the person and the situation that we were avoiding. These stories and views are hard to see because they are just our reality. A little self-reflection can uncover what view we might have unfairly imposed on a situation.
Another step in preparing for the slightly uncomfortable communication is to create a comfortable and respectful ‘space’ for it to take place. The best way to do this is to approach the interaction with an open, understanding and respectful desire to resolve the issue.
The final step is to ‘have the chat’.
The group came to the conclusion that if everyone approached communication this way, the business world would be so much better. Imagine if the person you wanted to have the chat with also approached the conversation in this way? It would be wonderful if everyone made an effort to understand everyone else’s point of view.
I wonder if this approach could work outside of the business world with personal interactions?
For more helpful information about communication in business, please visit my Squidoo Lens: http://www.squidoo.com/communication-help-for-small-business-owners
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