The ‘real truth’ leads to better decisions and relationships
Coming to a conversation or business decision thinking you have all the facts is as pointless as going to relationship counselling on your own. When you’re the only one contributing, or are solely prepared to listen to your side of the facts, you are more likely to see flawed outcomes as a result. After all, you’re only focussing on number one. It does not take into account all the factors and opinions surrounding you.
A few blogs back, I spoke about the difference between a ‘yoursation’ and a conversation. One has your facts (‘yoursation’) and the other has both parties’. The outcome of making decisions in which all parties share what they know to be true is the ‘real truth’. It is a combination of what YOU know and what THEY know that leads to great decision making, remarkable outcomes and deepened relationship building.
You now have all the facts, all the variables and are aware of all the potential blockers. You can address people’s concerns, navigate the issues and allow people to feel heard. Of course, it is unlikely that everyone will be on the same page but feeling heard and valued counts significantly.
A lack of facts leads to…
Flawed conclusions leads to…
Poor decision making leads to…
Flawed outcomes and…
The implications of not having all the information leads to erroneous decision making that can affect your customers, your colleagues, your strategy and your reputation (both your brand and your personal one), right along the business food chain.
In my yester year (I would love to say many many years ago but alas wisdom can come slow to some) I made the fatal flaw of telling a Director how we should approach the loss of a senior person in the business. I discussed how we should learn from it and what our next steps should be. First warning – ask their perspective first. Second warning – don’t “should” all over them – when you use language that says I am right then be prepared for the repercussions. Third warning – pick your battles (but that’s another story). If I approached the conversation with just as much interest in their perspective as mine, then I’m sure the outcome would have been better. Well nothing’s certain, but a good start.
Another example of harmful dealing is telling a customer that we are changing the terms of the contract without understanding the implications for them; a virtual reputation suicide. We need to understand their perspective and they ours for ideal outcomes.
Imagine you went to the doctors and he did all the tests (bloods, blood pressure, reflex, etc) but did not ask you what your symptoms were?
Imagine if you went to a new high-end restaurant and the waiter decided to serve you the specials because they were fabulous.
Imagine you went to a strategy meeting and your Manager told you the team strategy?
Which one is most likely? We all know the answer to that. And it’s a shame really.
As I said last month, one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is not your advice but your purity of attention…. Listen… really listen. The goal is to expand the conversation NOT narrow it. Also, it’s worth considering just how much potential gold could go unminned if you fail to let your colleagues into the conversation.
If you want to maintain great relationships with people AND make the best decisions for optimum outcomes then get the ‘real truth’ not just your truth.
Hey.. you might even learn something along the way.