INTRODUCTION

 “But why the hell did you go out if you weren’t well?” – shouted Aliya at her husband! “Don’t you get it, I had to give my phone for repair, else all the work would have halted tomorrow” – exclaimed Satish who was sneezing and burning with fever. “It wasn’t that bad at that time anyway, else I wouldn’t have gone!”

Silence for a couple of minutes followed with a huge quarrel. All the last 5 married years details were discussed – how irresponsible Satish was, how work was the only thing on his head all the time, how many times he ignored Aliya because of work! and how accusing and judgmental Aliya was, how nothing was enough for her….!!!

Wait! Can you relate to this scenario above? It might very well happen at work as well. Here you go…

 “Kris, I’ve been looking at your performance data since last 40 days, and I’m afraid that the results are not as expected. I suggest you start taking your work seriously and spend a little extra time getting trained, so your performance scores are better. ” – said Rohan with a concerned tone.

“But I thought I was doing ok, if this was the case, why did you not tell me before! ” exclaimed Kris. “I have been in constant touch with the customers, have resolved the most important cases in last 6 months, saved more than $100,000 with my new ideas in the past, and you are telling me to start taking work seriously, just because last 40 days have not been up to the mark?  I know my utilization is low, that too because I’m struggling with few things, but that doesn’t mean I’m not taking my work seriously or I need some training.”

I’m sure all of us have been through this type of conversation before.  This blog talks about a very simple yet powerful conversational technique to make our lives and relationships trustworthy, simpler and peaceful! The catch is to practice it consciously after you know about this technique..

DISCLAIMER : This blog covers only the simple aspects of conversation to build rapport and relationships at work and home. It doesn’t deal with the extremes like – Intention to kill or destroy.

POWER OF INTENTION

Most renowned leaders talked about “TRUST” being one of the key factors to build rapport and great relationships. However, TRUST comes with some efforts that we put into a relationship. 

Here’s my simple technique that works wonders to build trust. I’ve been practicing it for 85% of the scenarios at home and at work… and it works 100% of the times – 

When you have to communicate a difficult message –

  1. SHED THE EGO – TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR INTENTION

Often, we leave the burden of understanding our intention, on the other person. He should understand how much I care for him, or he should know that I’m saying this for his good! 

The problem with that approach is, that we assume that we already have the established trust because we are related or know each other for a long time. That’s not true! You can be related for years, but “Trust” is never built without talking about our intentions of an action. Why do you think we connect with people on drinks/informal gatherings much better? It is because, in those gatherings, we shed our ego and talk heart to heart! 

Now another problem that I hear from my coachees is, I did tell him about my intention, but next time again he reacted the same way. How many times do I tell? My answer to that is – as many times as he wants to listen. It’s always better and emotionally easier to tell the intention rather than reacting and yelling.

“Why do we feel that ego to NOT tell our intention or how bad we are feeling?” What will go wrong if the other person knows that we are feeling hurt, or sad, or disappointed. Confessions like these don’t make us vulnerable, they make us stronger, more graceful and authentic!

Here’s a quick example – 

  • Aliya told Satish – “I feel very sad and hurt when you are not well. I cant’ see you lying sick on the bed, it’s very hurtful to see you there. ” Can you please think about me, before you do this to yourself next time? My intention is to see you healthy and active.

What do you think Satish’s reaction could be?

  • Kris –  I’ve specially called you for this meeting is because I’m concerned about your performance since last 40 days. Intention of this discussion is for us to come up with a plan to ensure that you are our STAR performer. Let’s talk about it and see what both of us can do to enable yours and team’s better performance in future.

 

The more and more we practice this art of telling our intention before the actual content, the more we build trust and rapport with others. There will eventually come a time, when you won’t need to explain your intention, it will be in an auto mode with the same person.

2. CLARIFY THE INTENTION

If at all you are the recipient in the conversation, it comes very handy to clarify the intention. This is a tricky one, specially when you don’t have trust or any established relationship.

It is important for you to identify and acknowledge how you are feeling about the first person’s ask/comment. Some people lack this ability to put a name to a feeling. For that I recommend them reading more about emotional intelligence or emotional vocabulary.

Until a point when you decide to take Sanyas, this emotional vocabulary will help you deal with reactions to most common issues in life. 

Here are some examples/statements to clarify the other person’s intention.

Example :

  • Rohan, when you asked me to start taking my work seriously, I felt very disappointed. What exactly did you mean?
  • Rohan, when you said that I should spend extra time on training, I felt very uncomfortable. How do you think extra training will help me?

After this, let the other person explain his/her intention. It is important to ask difficult/right questions to help the other person to clarify intentions.

An attempt to understand the other person’s underlying intention makes things and consequences much easier to deal with.

REMEMBER ALWAYS

  • Sometimes, these questions to clarify intentions, can make the other person react further. It’s a good sign. Give time for him/her to react or come back. At-least you have made that first attempt to clarify instead of reacting.
  • Sometimes, we make a strong presumption that the person’s intention is NOT right. In that case, we will never be able to establish trust and rapport, so any attempt to clarify intent or telling the truth will not help! – This is a deeper issue.
  • It is advisable to give a benefit of doubt and trust the person’s intention when he/she’s stating it explicitly and question your own presumptions. Having a heart to heart about how you feel can also help in this case.

 

SUMMARY

Stating your intent and clarifying other person’s intent – Practicing these two skills will make you a great conversationalist over a very short span of time.

Please watch out your own intention before getting into this conversation – “It should be to build trust and rapport with the other person and not to prove him/her wrong!”

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