October 5, 2009

Just Listen - Mark Goulston

Just Listen - discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone - by Mark Goulston

[This book is really good, providing what are the questions to ask at whaThe t time. I think, i will buy this book.]

The persuasion cycle:

People have their own needs, desires and agendas. they have secrets they are hiding from you. To cop up with their stress and insecurity, they throw up mental barricades that make it difficult to reach them. the technic to get through their minds is what the author call the "Persuasion Cycle'.

[Similar work on the same idea is mentioned in ground-breaking work and ideas of James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente in their 'Trans-theoretical Models of Change'. The other notable bookis William R. Miller & Stephen Rollnick's 'Motivational Interviewing']

1. From resisting to listening
2. From listening to considering
3. From considering to willing to do
4. From willing to do to doing'
5. From doing to glad they did and continue to do

The three-part brain:
Our brain has three layers that evolved over millions of years; a primitive reptile layer, a more evolved mammal layer and a fianl primate layer. They all interconnect, but in effect often act like three different brains.

Reptile layer: this is all about acting and reacting without lots of thinking
Mammal layer: it's where powerful feelings- love, joy, sadness, anger, grief, jealous, pleasure-arise.
Primate layer: this collects data from the above two layers, sifts it, analyszes it and makes practical, smart and ethical decisions.

To reach someone, you need to talk to upper brain (primate layer). If you are talking to your boss, wife, children whose lower brain is in control, you are talking to a cornered snake.

Monkey see, Monkey do or mirror neurons.
[When one monkey watched other monkey tossing a ball, the first monkey's brian react as if, it had tossed the ball]. By mirroring with the person, we are getting into his way. Everyday life, we will meet people who have 'mirror neuron receptor deficits' because world is not giving back to them what they are putting out. Understanding a person's hunger and responding to it is one of the most potent tools you'll ever discover for getting through to anyone you meet in business or your personal life.

The nine core rules for getting through to anyone:
[The key to winning is poise under stress - Paul Brown - Cleveland coach]
To understand how stress interferes with your power to reach people, you need to know the mental steps you go through in a time of stress or crisis.

1. Oh F#@$ (The reaction phase - this is a disaster, I can't fix it .. sort of it
2. Oh God (The release phase - this is a huge mess- this happens to me ..
3. Oh Jeez (The recenter phase - I can fix it, but it won't be fun..
4. Oh Well (The refocus phase - I am not going to runin my life /relationship/my day and I am going to do this way..
5. Ok (Th reengage phase - I am ready to fix it

When you become consciously aware of these stages and can mentally identify each one as it happens, you can manipulate your emotional response at each stage. As a result, you will eb abel to say all the right things and avoid saying the wrong ones.

How many filters we have:
We usually categorize people instantly in the following sequence:
Generation (age)
Nationality (or ethnicity)
Education Level

Understand the influence of this filter in mind and it'll help you to spot subconscious filters that keep you listening to and reacting to other people.

Usable Insight: If you want to open the lines of communication, open your own mind first.

The steps to making another person felt:

1. Attach an emotion to what you think the other person is feeling(such as frustrated, angry or afraid, etc..)
2. Say," I am trying to get a sense of what you are feeling and i think it is----. is that correct? If it is not, then what ar eyou feeling? (wit for the person to agree or correct you)
3. the say, "How frustrated (or type of feeling ) are you? (Give the person to respond; be prepared and be calm)
4. next say, "And the reason you are frustrated(or feeling0 is because -- (let the person fill it)
5. Next say, "Tell me - what needs to happen for that feeling to feel better?
6. Next, say, " What part can I play in making that happen? What [art can you play in making that happen?

The above script can be adjusted to the situation.

Usable Insight: Inside every person, is a real person who needs to 'feel felt' . Satisfy that need and you will transform yourself from a face in the crowd to a friend or an ally.

Be interested than interesting:

[Jim Collins is the author of 'Good to great - one of the most successful business books of all time. 'My golden rule - Business 2.0 article]

If you want to have an interesting dinner conversation, be interested. If you want to have interesting things to write, be interested. If you want to meet interesting people, be interested in the peopl eyou want - their lives, history, hobby, story, etc.

The more interested you are in another person, the more you narrow the person's mirror neuron receptor deficit.

Usable Insight: the measure of self-assurance is how deeply and sincerely interested you are in others; the measure of insecurity is how much you try to impress them with you.

Make people important: good people in your life deserve reassurance that they are valued and the annoying people may not server it, but they need it evenmore. Give both of them waht they want - a feeling that they are valuable and matter- and they will give you what you need.

Help people to exhale emotionally and mentally:

When you are confronting a person (dean, boss, wife, kid), follow the action plan
1. Give the person plenty of time to express their feelings
2. Don't argue or break in between
3. after he vents he will be exhausted (you too by listening :))
4. pause after he unloaded on you and then simply say " tell me more". Doing this has several positive effects.
a. When it turns out you are not going to get into a debate with the person, it disarms him. There is no need for the person to fight you, if you don't engage in a fight.
b. Tell me more' shows you were listening and heard what really bothereed the person. It also lowers his parania
c. When you are not fighting or debating with the person, the other person exhale. You will see it in the person's face, expressions.

few sample Q for kids to exhale.
What is the most furstrated you have ever felt with your mom/dad or me?
How bad was it for you?
What did it make you want to do?
What did you do?

Usable Insight:Forget about music. If you want to soothe the savage the savage beast get the beast to exhale.

Check your dissonance at the door:

Ten most common misperception that cause dissonance are the following:

Believe you are When others perceive you as:

Shrewd Sly
Confident Arrogant
Humorous Inappropriate
Energetic Hyper
Strong opinions Opinionated
Passionate Impulsive
Strong Rigid
Detail oriented Nitpicking
Quiet passive or indecisive
Sensitive Needy

One way to overcome the dissonance-creating traits you identify is to use what renowned leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith calls 'feelforward'- Identify the dissonance and change it. The great book on this process is well explained in Goldsmith's 'What got you here won't get you there".

When all is lost, bare your neck:
when you are afraid or in distress, don't pretend that you are not. Instead identify the people you are trying to hide your emotions from - and then tell them the truth. When you suspect that someone else is afraid or in distress, encourage the person to tell you about it. Then let the person know you respect him for having the guts to say ' I'm scared or i made a mistake.

Steer clear of Toxic people
[A toxic person robs you of your self-esteem and dignity and positions the essence of who you ar e- Lilian Glass, Psychologist]

They come in different colors
Takers: they are the ones who hit you up every day for a favor. The best remedy is ask for a return favor
Narcissists: these people aren't hurt you , but they don't give a damn about you either. - except as an audience for their own wonderfulness. They don't mirror your feelings and emotions. However they are huge success in life and going along for the ride can be a heady experience. Sometimes it will get you to hig places and other times, it will humiliate you. But don't expect a fifty-fifty relationship if you stay.

Psychopaths: They are cold-blooded, ruthless people, who seems to lack some key pieces of what makes us human. One on every 100 is a psychopath. and they are mostly very successful business leader. Not-so-bright ones ends up in prison, but smarter one ends up in CEO. So recommendation is to get away, go run...

Usable Insight:if you are afraid to say 'no', you may be neurotic. If you are truly afraid to say 'no', you are probably dealing with a toxic person. And if nobody ever says 'no', to you, that toxic person could be you.

12 quick and east ways to achieve buy-in and get through:
Usable Insight: Invite people to tell you what they think is impossible and they will lower their guard to consider what's possible.
Ask someone at home/office to name an impossible ggoal the person would like to accomplish. respond with ."I agree with you. that sounds impossible, so what would make it possible?' The help the person brainstorm the steps to turn the goal into reality.

The magic paradox: Shift another person from resistance to listening - from 'nobody understands' to 'you understand'.

[do the unexpected. The expected is boring. The expected is tuned out - Steve Strauss]

When you start a conversation by saying 'No', for anohter person, it opens the door for them to say yes.

Usable Insight:You can't be curious and on the attack at the same moment.

To make empathy come more naturally to you, give yourself an Empathy jolt every day or so. For instance, when a coworker you don't like much is on the phone with a difficult customer, observer the situation and ask yourself," How would I feel, if I were him right now? Would this conversation make me angry, frustrated or unhappy?

Usable Insight:An oounace of apology is worth a pound of resentment and a ton of acting out by underperforming.

Usable Insight: Before you worry about solving someone's problem, find out if there is a problem.
Next time when a person starts in on an overheated rant, simply let it slide off your back. Then [ause for a count of five and say, " Do you really believe that?" Watch the person backpedal and tehn pin the person down about the details of the actual problem (if one really exists).

Usable Insight:Don't go defensive, go deeper.
calm a person who's upset or angry moving the person from resisting to listening and then from listening to consdiering - the power of hummm... (hummmm= tell me more..)

Usable Insight: Show poise by openly expressing the misgivings people have about you and they will be more likely to give you their positive and undivided attention.

if you know that something about you makes other people uncomfortable, practice ways to describe what the problem is and how other people can respond to it. Rehearse in front of a mirror until you are sure you can do this comfortably in public.

Usable Insight: Cause people to look up and rflect on what you've asked them and when they look back down at you, the conversation will never be the same again-- it will be better.

The next time when you are struck, in one of those transactional conversation ruts with a partner or family member- say arguing over who's going to do the laundary or take out the trash,- stop, smile and say, " What's something fun or important that you think you and I should do within the next five years? Then see how fast you move from 'it is your turn to do dishes' to a new and better life plan.

To create life changing event, you need to move beyond transacting to relating. How? By asking questions that let the other person tell you. "This is what I think", "This is who I am', " This is what I want to achive", or "This is how you can play a part in making my life bettter".

"To help me better understand if an dhow i can help you, tell me what your company and specially your dept is trying to accomplish that is cruical and important and why your company selected that goal"
What is one thing you are produst of accomplishing"
"If there is one thing I can do to help you move more quickly towards your goals, what would it be?
"If you could cahnge one thing about the direction of your company, what could it be?'

Ask questions that can move a person from tranactional to transformational. Ask the right question of yourself and you will find your eyes moving up - a clear sign that your midn is opening up to new posibilities.

Usable Insight:When you can't get through face to facve, try side by side.

If you are a manager. use the side-by-side technique to find out what's going on with your productive employee and see, if you can uncover ways to make that eprson even happier about working for you. The turn around and use it with your best productive employee and see, if you can discover any clues about why the eprson underperforms.

Usable Insight: Direct questions make people think you are talking at them. Let them fill in the blanks and they will feel you are talking with them.

e.g. You ar ethinking of hiring someone like me becasue you want to....." let the other person fill it up.

Usable Insight:Until someone says 'no' to you, you are not asking for enough.

if you are in sales , think of the last sale or deal you made. Now take a perice of paper and writ ethe ans. to this questions. "What more could I have asked for, and possibly gotten a, if I hadn't been scared of hearing no?

Usable Insight:The more often you say and sincerely mean, "thank you", the less you need to pay your people. The more often you say and sincerely mean, "I am sorry" the quicker your people will get back to work.

It is never late to give a Power Thanks You or Power Apology if you really mean it.

Usable Insight:Assemble the ebst team you can, and them became the eprson they - and you - would want to lead them

Usable Insight:Visualize yourself in the job that you want; then actively plan to get there.

Usable Insight:Good clients and customers raise the bar. bad ones just keep hitting you over the head with it.

Usable Insight: Focus on 'What is it in for them" and reciprocators will soon eror later ask,"what can I do for you". Focus on "What is in it for me" and they will ask themselves, "how do I make this eprson go away".

Usable Insight:If soemone can't or won't listen to you, get him to listen to himself.

The six step pause:

1. Oracitce physical awareness - identify sensations like tension, a pounding heart, a craving or lighheartness. Pinpoint them and give them a name. This will help you control them.
2. Practice emotional awareness - attach an emotion to the situation you ar efeeling. Naming your feeeling will help prevent the amygdala hijack
3. Practice impusle awareness - Say to yourself"This feeling makes me want to ---". Being awar eof your impulse will help you resist it.
4. Practice consequence awareness. Answer this Q."If I follow through with this urge, what is likely to happen"
5. Practice soltuion awareness. Complete this sentence ." A better thing to do would be ..."
6. Practice benefit awareness. Say to yourself. "If I do that better thing the benefits will be..."

Usable Insight:During tough times, say unto yourslef what those who care about you would say unto you... and then believe it. Otherwise you are dishorning the love they feel for you.

Usable Insight:Inside the most untouchable VIP who's wary of being 'hit on' is a person who is aching to be touched in just the right way.

To succedd in your career, it is less important what you know or even who you know than who truly knows you and how they know you.

In order for this, create one-on-one situations; make virtual allies; write blog about positive about that person(VIP), Reach gatekeepers (Assistant to teh VIP), join linkdne, facebook,etc..
[When you trying via gatekeerps, make sure, you are bosting gatekeepers while communicating to VIP as gatekeepers would be reading your communications).

[Some of the other books, that I am planning to read from the same author, are:
breaking down Silos
The best life possible - how to make it happen
Potential is a terrible thing to waste - how to get out of your own way (an dhelp others do the same)
Be courageous (come out from the comfort zone - discover how to change that now and grab life by the horns)
Avoiding Something or someone? How to confront anyone about anything, anywhere anytime.

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