A good conversation is one that allows the people involved in the discussion to come to a conclusion where there is an understanding of what both people want out of the conversation.
An mutually agreeable understanding is what motivates an amicable decision to be made.
The decision that is made out of that understanding often precludes the desired action (and reason for the conversation) to take place.
The action part comes as a result and rarely as an immediate request or a demand.
An action is the resolve of the understanding that was gained by the two people respecting and accepting where the other is coming from. Two things that are impossible to show you have for someone when your into to a conversation is a flat immediate request.
The understanding piece of a conversation is only possible because of the way the two people listen to and acknowledge each other’s perspective in the situation.
Acknowledgement happens when points are delivered and received by everyone in the conversation through language that lets the other person know they were heard which makes them more willing to hear you out in return than any other motivating factor.
The attempt must be made to listen to and acknowledge the other persons perspective if you want to get anything resolved without conflict and delay.
People want to be heard and feel understood. How you listen and respond to people is how you let them know that you have done both.
It’s the way we say things and what we say that matters but most importantly it’s about when we take our turn to speak and how we prove that we have heard the other persons feelings through their words that makes it the most possible to get what we want out of the conversations we have.
The turns taken to speak and the turns taken listening to each other with the other in mind prior to speaking out our requests and rather speaking in response to what was said by the other person first and then saying what we want.
To have conversation that leads to an actionable resolution means you will have to adapt and respond to what you hear a person telling you rather than reacting to how you feel about what they are saying.
The only way to keep from emotionally reacting during a conversation is to not assume what someone will tell you before you actually give them the opportunity to tell you what they have to say and express why they feel that way. Once you have that information you can then respond.
Knowing how they feel let’s you know what you have to overcome when you speak.
When we speak first and the only words we use are requests we are shooting that request in the dark at a person who has their own thoughts going on in that moment about everything but us and our request and expecting them to care.
They won’t care.
How do I know?
Because when someone comes up to you with something on their mind it has never been the same thing or came from the same perspective that is going on in your mind at that exact moment. It is humanly impossible. Due to that fact, your response to a request that is irrelevant to the current things on your mind will have a lower chance of willingly giving a productive response than if the person had started the conversation with an approach with some regard to your state of mind being naturally on something different than theirs. People need to assess your perspective on a topic to discover where you are mentally since they are the one engaging you with something on their before asking you a bunch of questions or making a demand if they want a decent response from you.
It’s human nature to want to be acknowledged and provided context and reasons before someone asks something of you.
So why is it also human nature for us to want to resolve problems with people by telling them what we want them to do as the intro to a conversation?
Because what we want them to do is something that impacts us.
But without providing the same approach we would want to be approached with how can we expect them to want to give us the time of day when we wouldn’t if the tables were turned?
We can’t expect answers to direct questions (and often demands) to be warm and fuzzy when they are ask without any emotional intelligence or awareness about how a demand sounds when give .5 second after the word hello.
However, we all have this tendency to start conversations with questions rather than not and as a result we will hear a lot more no’s than yes’s.
Our brains work like this in conversations because our brains also spend all day looking out for #1 so we don’t run through stop signs and burn ourselves while ironing clothes. We are auto-piloted for self preservation and it’s been that way since we were early humans trying to escape tigers and bears thousands of years ago.
The thing is that for communication to get you what you really want out of it you have to outsmart your instincts and change the way your conversations flow.
Once you do that you will hear a lot more yes than no.