The other day, my seven-year-old son was at the breakfast table. He had a plate of pancakes in front of him, and he was making a noise over, and over, and over again, as he often does. While I tried to ignore it, my ten-year-old daughter told him to stop, then poked him to stop, then yelled that he was annoying and to STOP RIGHT NOW!
Take a guess and tell me if that was effective. Of course not!
What I explained to her was that she was focusing on how she felt, and what she wanted, and that was not the best way to achieve her desired result. She needed to pay attention to him, and determine what was important to him, in order for him to subscribe to a mutually agreeable outcome.
The same mentality applies to many business interactions, among them:
- Employee Development
In Sales, the key is to discover your customer’s frustrations, and offer a reasonable solution to address them. This is often called a ‘pain point’, but can just as easily be related to the effects of success as it can struggle.
In Management, the interaction with employees is best aligned when the employee incentives mesh with the overall company goals. And the employee should be involved as much as possible in this as a collaborative process. This is the most reliable way to have buy-in, loyalty, and a concentrated team effort.
For Employee Development, it is incumbent on the employee to put themselves in the shoes of co-workers, bosses, and customers to best manage those relationships. Each one has its own pressures, and the most effective way to agree on a positive outcome is to appreciate where others are coming from.
In other words, understand the other person, and use that knowledge to adapt your viewpoint and tactics.
As for my daughter, I try to have her see the world through others’ eyes. And it is a daily struggle to deal with two younger brothers. She could have refocused her brother by saying, “Your pancakes are getting cold.” And perhaps that would have worked. Because even at seven, he knows nobody wants to eat cold pancakes.
Thanks to Recipes Hubs for the image.