They Are Not Listening

I dont want to listenEver think that “they” are not paying attention, not being reasonable, not listening and certainly not helping a project move forward? Of course you have. But what if you turn that around. What if  you decide that no matter how unreasonable their demands may seem initially you will take the higher road. You will open up communication; listen and then talk. You will travel on the “Yes, and…” road.

Say you have a client that is demanding more of your firm’s resources – maybe more meeting time or more reports, a change of staff or more of whatever you find unreasonable. You could dig in for a battle of wills – they are wrong, you are right and you will prove it to them. Chances are you will damage the relationship, possibly lose the client. Even if you convince the client to back down, you’ve lost the trust of someone who should consider you a partner rather than a contentious outsider.

What if you take the “Yes, and…” road. Focus on expanding the conversation, discovering the why behind the demand. The principles of improvisation that are part of my presentations and work with business leaders are respect, trust, support, listening, focus and adaptability. Improv can create positive outcomes, better results and improve relationships ( personal and business).

A recent Forbes article says “In fact, studies have shown that people can improve their communication skills and lower their anxiety with regular practice. Improv’s low-stakes training increases the likelihood that team members will feel comfortable communicating in a variety of work situations. “Yes, and” is the key.”

Being critical, over-analytical and convinced of your correctness leads to difficult relationships. “Yes, and…” takes practice both in the business world and in personal life. The payoff is the opportunity to achieve greater results through mutual understanding of goals.