Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? If we have equal talent and time, why do some people “make” it and others, no matter how hard they try, just don’t?
I’ve been thinking about this because I’m putting together an advanced communications skills program for a client and will judge, during a simulation of the real situations they encounter with customers and internal stakeholders, how they handle their conversations.
And though there are many practical tips to consider when holding a difficult conversation, it seems that it comes back to this: What is your attitude going in to the conversation?
If you think you’re right and the other person is wrong, you will absolutely handle the conversation differently (and less effectively) than if you can enter the conversation giving the other person credit for most likely being right.
Yes, I know. That isn’t real because you know he is wrong. Knowing that, what do you think you’ll accomplish with your conversation? If you approach him in a way that enables you to learn from him, too, you have a chance of moving him to a new position. If you approach him as being wrong (stupid, lazy, whatever), you’re left with few options: you force him to do it your way (and get minimal result) or you frustrate yourself trying to prove your rightness!
This is true in every conversation. When you’re about to talk to a prospect, what do you put in your mind? If you think they think ill of your product or service, how will you approach them? If you think they don’t have the budget, won’t want to change vendors, and want to “cheat” you, guess what?
More than that, what conversation do you put into your head about yourself? Do you think you can’t sell, aren’t a good presenter, are “inferior” to the Executive Committee member you’re trying to talk to?
What you put into your head before you even start to talk will determine the outcome of your conversation.
Do you agree?