So many conversations go nowhere because they’re monologues and the wrong person is talking.
I just had a meeting about a business issue and the person selling the service spent most of the time telling me about his approach and how he’d handle my situation. When I finally got the chance to speak, he only asked a few questions.
So while he presented eloquently, by the end of his talk I realized I didn’t need what he was offering and wasn’t interested in it, either. But I don’t think he realized that. If he’d been more aware, asked me about my issues, listened, and then spoken, we could have saved us all a lot of time.
The same applies to work situations. We need to get better at listening first before we try to cajole or problem solve or make judgments. This salesperson kept on script and on message – he probably left feeling pretty good about how things went – but in reality, he missed the whole conversation.
Sometimes we need to look up from the script to find out what’s really going on.