#6 - The Mountaintop
Most of us have experienced this: In the throws of passion for an idea, you find yourself in a monologue, and you’re on a roll. Your listener on the other hand is shutting down fast. But there’s an important point to make, just one more argument to convince this person that you’re right, that project Y makes total sense, that approach X is the best for the circumstances.
If you’re the silent type, there’s no need to read on. The person of few words doesn’t run into this situation. As for the rest of us, well sometimes we realize too late, or perhaps not at all, that we may very well be preaching alone on our mountaintop.
Mind you, there's nothing wrong with the power of persuasion; most people need a clear reason to adopt a new course, and you may be the one to provide it for them. But be careful about going overboard. Because the more you try to convince another of your point of view, the less likely you are to succeed. What are some immediate clues to standing on the monologue mountaintop?
Why not ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?”. Also, you may want to ask him or her: “What are your thoughts on project X?”. Getting another’s perspective is an elegant way to begin a genuine conversation, one where you can create common ground. It’s also an invaluable opportunity for you to learn something new, to challenge your assumptions.
- No one asks questions and you only hear an obligatory “uhum”.
- No one remembers your salient points.
- You lose your train of thought and no one knows where you left off.
- The listener’s eyes glaze over, and their body language is fidgety.
So for those of few words, not to worry, you can skip this tip. For the rest of us, the challenge is to put this in practice, especially when you’re passionate about a new idea.
I could go on…. but I’d rather hear from you. Why not give the two above questions a try, and let me know your experience with them.