How listener focused are YOU?

Kelly and I were meeting with a business partner in our backyard yesterday when our twelve-year-old came outside wanting help with something. The end result was that he was going to ask his fifteen-year-old brother for help, and as he walked away, Kelly yelled “Start with ‘Brother…’”, to which I followed “and say you need just 6 minutes of his time.”

After he told us he got it and walked away, the partner we were meeting with laughed and said how interesting it is to see the advice given by communication professionals. We laughed, didn’t think anything of it – until I thought of the interaction when I woke up this morning.

How many of us really think about what the other person needs to hear – to say yes. At Decker, we live and breathe this approach and way of thinking. The Decker Grid™ helps keep us listener focused – most people don’t naturally think this way. No matter the industry, role, or level you’re speaking to – a few good principles apply:

  1. Know your audience. How they think, what would make them say no, what excites them.
  2. Meet them where they are. Find a common goal – something they could nod their head to. ‘We all need to finish homework by dinner if we’re ALL going to have dessert’. It’s true!
  3. Don’t forget the emotion. It’s why Kelly wanted the younger brother to start with ‘Brother…’. Remind him he’s a very accomplished older brother and you’re a needy twelve-year-old.
  4. Be specific. Why six minutes? It’s unusual and unexpected. And it’s not 10 min because that’s intrusive. ????  It’s doable. Make it so they can’t say no to the initial first step of what you’re asking them.

In so many virtual meetings we can fall into the trap of only describing OUR product, OUR company, or OUR ourselves. Continue to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think – WHAT DO THEY NEED TO HEAR, TO SAY YES? You’ll get more of what you want a majority of the time.

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