Are you trying to win? Or win them over?
Dale Carnegie says that the only way to get someone to do something that you want them to do is to make them want to do it themselves. If you are always trying to win, then you are fighting. It doesn’t matter whether you are using logic or a club then you are not communicating. Communication takes practice. Good communicators do not focus on winning. Good communicators practice the art of communication and compromise. Good communication is not winning, but winning others over.
Logic rarely works
Anyone who has tried to argue with children can tell you that logic never works. The same is true with adults. When you couple logic with emotions. then you have a better chance of effective communication. Humor, anger, virtue, pride, happiness, excitement or even irony can be very effective communication tools. When emotionally involving the participant in the conversation, there is a better chance of creating a situation that they may want to do what you want them to do. Using logic as a tool to “win” an argument is not effective. Incorporating emotional connections into the conversation will bring better results.
Anger prompts action
It has been proven that people who are angry are more prone to action. However, this type of emotional involvement might not result in the type of action you are looking for. A hole in the wall or a black eye is not the result we are after in most communication efforts. Creating the emotion of anger in someone is one sure way to get results. The problem is that the results may not be predictable nor the one you want.
Humor Is A Connector
The ability to use humor in communication efforts will almost always elicit good response even when the co-communicator is not prone to your opinion. The challenge here is to get the other party to see the humor in the situation. A recent conversation with my niece about combing her hair is a good example. She hates to comb her hair as it is long and pulls when being brushed out after sleeping. She would go forever without combing her hair if allowed to do so. On a recent 2-day sleepover; on day one no amount of convincing on my part could get her to allow me to comb her hair. She is 5 years old. We ended up going out and about with her hair looking like a rat’s nest. I am sure that people we met thought I was terrible for allowing her out like that. It was that or anger! I chose the rat’s nest. Day 2 brought a new scenario. I got up and did not comb my hair. My hair always comes out of bed looking like a total lunatic. Flat on one side, sticking straight out on the other and in 10 different directions all over. If I went out in public anyone who would see me surely would think I escaped from the insane asylum. We got ready to go to “Special Persons” day at kindergarten and I asked her if I could comb her hair, and she said no. I said That’s ok, me neither, I’m not combing my hair either. She looked at me and we both laughed and we ate breakfast. After breakfast she went upstairs and combed her hair and we both laughed at mine again and I combed mine and we went to school. Three things happened here. I allowed her to win. She didn’t have to comb her hair if she didn’t want, we laughed together, and she chose to comb her hair. The emotion of humor coupled with me not “needing” to win, allowed her to make her own choice. When I stopped trying to win, I won her over!
Emotions always sell
In sales, when someone has an emotional experience they buy. The same is true in almost all communications. When children at an assembly laugh and become emotionally involved in te Debbie Banana performance, they leave the assembly with a decision to “buy” what I am attempting to convince them of (Eat five fruits and vegetables a day and macaroni and cheese in a box is bad for them.) Learning to communicate on a level of connection takes practice. It is easier to depend on convincing people of our way through logic than it is to take the time to actually learn their motivations and then make an emotional commitment to connect. People buy with their emotions. They view products and services emotionally and they also buy into what it is you are communicating when they are emotionally involved.
Practice the 10 second rule
When you practice the 10 second rule it is easier to connect emotionally and become a better communicator. The 10 second rule is that you share for 10 seconds or less and ask a question. Hear what the person says, and share again with clarifying information regarding what they said for 10 seconds or less, then ask another question. The 10 second rule keeps you open to communicate emotionally as you learn more about the other party instead of getting into the “winning” mentality. Winners rarely get what they want. Communicators, on the other hand, allow the other party to win and then win them over to their way of thinking through emotional connections. The 10 second rule is awesome and takes continued practice and focus.