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Do you hear what others are trying to say?

Submitted by on Friday, 9 September 2011

Words are merely translations of what’s going on inside – a compression that represents a mixture of conscious and unconscious thought. As such, they are spoken in a specific way in each conversation, with words being chosen according to the conversation, the speaker’s goals, and the history of the relationship as well as the biases of the speaker, and the differences in the age, education, professions of the speakers. Obviously the same story line would be shared differently depending on the conversation partners.

That means, the words you hear someone speak are a second level translation as they come to you, and your own filters take on the next translation. As a listener you have your own biases, triggers, assumptions, and habits, not to mention expectations and goals for each speaker in each conversation. Add to that an internal dialogue that’s usually running in your brain during at least one third of the speaker’s dialogue, and you end up hearing very little of what our communication partner is trying to tell you.

IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO HEAR WHAT OTHERS SAY

As you can see, it’s not only impossible for a speaker to send exactly what they want you to hear, but it’s not possible for you to hear exactly what your communication partner wants to share. At best, you understand half of what they are trying to say, and that’s when it’s someone in your own tribe – friends, family, neighbors. Even when you hear the words your communication partner is sending, you might miss the idiosyncratic meaning, the translation, the nuance, the meta-messages. As  a result, your relationships and business suffers.

My new book, tentatively titled Did You Really Say What I Think I Heard  is a professional development book that will offer the skills – not just the Why and the What but the actual How – of choice. How, exactly, to listen to each communication partner in a way that ensures a successful, complete, creative, collaborative dialogue, with no misunderstanding and no failed expectations? Win-Win with integrity.

For those of you who followed my Kickstarter campaign, the book writing is coming along well. I’m aiming to be finished with it by the end of the year. It’s been such fun! I’ve learned so much, been challenged, and have been surprised during the process. And I’ve come up with challenging assessments and exercises to enrich learning and ensure you can use the material in all conversations. I can’t wait to share it with you, to offer a format for you to have the client, colleague, and peer relationships in your work that will bring you another level of success, even beyond the success you currently enjoy. Stay tuned; I’ll keep you updated. I can’t wait to share it with you. And thanks for your support!

FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT HEARING OTHERS, OR TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BOOK, CONTACT SHARON DREW AT sharondrew@newsalesparadigm.com .