How to Talk So People Listen shows us how to successfully capture people’s attention so that they listen, understand, and are persuaded by your message.
The Basic Idea
The best system for Fore-Thought is to make a chart describing the motivations already in place and being brought to the encounter.
The chart’s focus:
- What does the other person (or persons) want, need, and expect–both especifically and generally? What’s important to them?
- What do you want, need and expect? What’s important to you?
- Where is the energy and the motivation for actions for you as well as for them?
- What sources on both sides can you tap into to fulfill your intention for this encounter?
- How do they complement, interact, or collide?
Why a chart?
Making a chart forces you to sit still and purposefully think about motivation issues; it graphically shows you and makes you consider both sides.
Writing helps to clarify:
- It takes your thoughts to a much more clear-headed level, away from the instictive, emotional one of operating by reflex alone.
- It forces you to reduce ideas and feelings to simple, succint statements of fact.
- It makes ideas concrete. They stand still so you can reread and ponder what you’re actually thinking.
The format: Three categories–Objective Goals, Emotional Needs, and Probable Expectations–will cover the basic kinds of insights you’ll need to prepare effective communication strategies.
So step one in designing a successful communications strategy is to define not only your goals but also your opposite number’s–the one you wish to influence.
- It makes you get clear about the results you want and can reasonably expect to achieve.
- It forces you to focus on the other person’s self-interest and goals, making it possible to predict their behavior.
- It helps you see how to tap into the energy of their self-interest and accomplish yours ot at least part of yours as well.
Step two is to define inner needs–feelings. This part of the chart is much harder to do.
Getting in touch with and admitting what else we want, what our hidden fears and desires are, our hidden goals and feelings, requires great honesty. To surface and write them down, you need to give yourself permission to have those feelings of doubt, anger, greed, jealousy, ineptitude, or whatever.
Step three in creating your Fore-Thought Chart is consciously to imagine what you expect will happen and what your opposite number expects; to discover what’s predictable.