Well, here is another milestone reached – this is my 100th blog post on this site (My other site got hacked and ruined)…so here is a big pat on the back to me…from me.
A few weeks ago I was with an old friend I hadn’t seen for 36 years. It was great catching up and with those who we class as true friends, time is no barrier. At least that’s the way it was for us.
Anyway, after our reminiscing of schoolboy times had ended we began chit-chatting about more current events happening in our lives. Now I won’t be disclosing the details about what me and my friend were discussing as it is personal and he reads this blog from time to time. Suffice to say he wanted to help someone close to him who he was worried about.
In the midst of the conversation he said to me, “You know Robert, the problem is, people just never listen to me!“
Of course I wanted to help him – as a friend – not as a client – so I didn’t challenge his statement with a couple of powerful questions that would have highlighted that he was probably mistaken in his assumption that ‘people just never listen to him’.
No, even though we were in deep rapport, I refrained from asking these direct questions. I learned a long time ago that when people haven’t asked to be coached, don’t go into coaching mode. It alienates people. And no matter how much their language patterns (or anything else they might say or do) may show up on my radar through distorted mental filters, I still won’t pick them up on it.
The quality of your communication is in the response you get
Having established that this instance was only an isolated one and the person he was concerned about hadn’t listened, as it was apparent in their repeated behaviour, I said,
“You know John (Not his real name) if you feel that way then maybe you need to change the way you are speaking to them? If what you are using now is not working, try another way. Anyway will do as long as it is different to what you are using now because what you are using now isn’t getting you the results you want.”
In NLP we believe that there no resistant clients only ineffective communication. Yet when we feel others are ‘just not listening to us‘ we presume that there is something inherently wrong with them!
We rarely look at ourselves in these situations. Instead we carry on telling them the same message in the same way, over and over again. This can only increase our frustration and often times, make us feel like tearing our hair out. And not only that, it can cause arguments and sour relationships.
Even though what we may be telling them is for their good (because we want them to remain healthy for example), you may well have screamed to yourself, “Why won’t they listen to me!”
It’s My ‘Fault’
At the moment I am coaching a great lad who is a go-karter in the UK. Together, we have built his confidence and eliminated his previous nerves that were preventing him getting the results his talent and drive deserves. Now I have only spent an hour and half with him face to face, a couple of ‘phone calls and a few messages, but the progress is now showing in his results.
The one area I want him to focus on is the gym for his strength. Although he has increased his attendance already, it is not enough for what his sport requires, even though we have already discussed this.
If somebody is not listening to you the ‘fault’ is in your communication and not their stubbornness or other character flaw
Now this obstacle is not his fault- it is mine. I have not used the correct language to encourage him enough to see the need to go to the gym more. It would be easy for me to talk to him again and say something like, “Hey, you need to go the gym more. We have already discussed this”
Instead I enjoy the process that it is me who needs to change my communication. I need to speak to him in a language that he understands more; that will resonate with him. I will find it and when I am back in the UK and seeing him face to face again, I will get this important message across.
So remember my friends and followers, the meaning (or quality) of your communication is in the response you get. There are no resistant clients, or friends or coworkers, or bosses, or family members, or bank managers, or partners – there is only ineffective communication on our part.
Change your communication if you want people to better respond to your requests or if you want to improve your relationships and cut out arguments. It really is worth the effort.
Here’s to another 100 blogs. I hope you stay with me.