Have you ever thought you closed on a sale only to have it fall apart? Maybe you interacted with others on a project and wondered how the communication could break down so quickly? In either case, you’re left with a big question mark above your head speculating on what went wrong.
The biggest mistake many business owners and professionals make is delivering information the way they want to receive it versus the way the other person wants to receive it.
I’m reminded of the story between June and Trent. June was a methodical internal thinker by her nature and Trent, a fast-paced external thinker. Methodical internal thinkers think things through before they talk or act while external thinkers think on the outside by verbalizing their thoughts as a way of generating ideas.
As June and Trent started generating ways June could reach her ideal clients, Trent began to throw out ideas and questions in rapid sequence to June. He asked about three questions before June could respond. June quickly became flustered not knowing what question to answer first. In fact, she was still on the first question and didn’t even know how to respond stumbling over what she wanted to say. It became obvious they were wired very differently simply by the way they were interacting. They both started laughing realizing what had just happened.
Trent took a deep breath then stated each question one by one leaving a lot of silence for June to think through the questions. This approach allowed June to think through each question and respond. On the other hand, Trent loves a more rapid idea exchange because it challenges him, so he initially delivered information that way to June. For Trent, leaving a lot of silence in the conversation can feel like sheer agony. However, when talking to a methodical internal thinker, he needs to manage that natural impulse in order to have more effective conversations with methodical internal thinkers. Conversely, June will need to increase her pace and not hold back on questions when exchanging ideas with Trent.
The next time you’re meeting with a prospective client or in a meeting with your peers, ask yourself two questions:
- Who is talking aloud to generate ideas or who is thinking before responding?
- What is the pace of the individuals when delivering their information?
When you respond to how the other person wants to receive their information, you will develop an environment of more effective idea exchange. When you get a handle on your own hardwiring you’ll understand what might be sidelining your team and even what needs to be changed to close the sale.