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.

The Breakdown of ‘Assume’

Hopefully I don’t need to break down the word as some will joke, however, we all assume too much. We assume people know what we mean, we assume people appreciate an effort or a message we share. We assume THEY know what WE are thinking. They don’t, so let’s be … Continue reading

Product vs. Solution Selling: Learn it from a Plumber!

Our leadership team recently got into a conversation about product selling versus consultative selling. And it got me thinking about our clients and how many of them deal with this same issue. We’re asked and tasked to help with this. A lot. How do we do it? It’s similar to … Continue reading

Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2016

What a year. The Olympics. A Presidential Election. So much noise this year – a colossal communications cacophony. What, then, stood out? The moments. With such a divisive political, economic and social landscape this year, we found that people heard what they wanted to hear, and we also felt it … Continue reading

Parenting Tip: Grid Your Kids

“I hope you won’t be offended. I’ve been practicing the Decker Grid™ on my 2 ½ year old son…Holy smokes. What a great parenting tip!” The Decker Grid™ keeps your message listener-focused with an action and a benefit. You will reach your listeners if you can successfully answer the question, “What’s in it … Continue reading

Listen Up: It’s Time for The Big Dance

Ever give instructions to a group and the voice in the back of your head says, “they’ll know what I mean”? Well, that doesn’t always work. Even when you’re working with the best people. It happened in our office just this week when we set up our Decker Team Tournament … Continue reading