What people want
Adrian’s a guru on the negotiation skills front. ‘Say what you want, not what you don’t want’, he advises, wisely. If it’s a complaint or a dispute, ‘State what would resolve it for you’. It’s a solutions-focused approach that makes desired outcomes clear and explicit. ‘Too often’, he says, ‘we leave the other party to second-guess what we want. We raise an issue or a problem – but we don’t let them know what we’d prefer or what would make a happy resolution for us.’
Imagine, for instance, contacting a supplier who has provided you with faulty goods or substandard services. ‘I’m very disappointed that X arrived broken’, or ‘I felt frustrated by your lack of attention to customer care.’ These may be fair comments and we might well assume that the supplier knows what would restore our confidence. Try instead, ‘I’d like a replacement delivered by X (date) please’; ‘I’d like a full refund on my room today and X (%) discount next time.’
A similar principle applies when navigating relationships. Tensions or unresolved conflict are common themes in coaching. A person may feel hurt or frustrated, become fixated on a problem, and lose sight of the relationship they hope for. To help someone to envision a different future – and how they may frame a conversation in terms of what they do want – can be transformational. ‘This is how I’d like us to work together. How would that be for you?’
24/9/2021 03:50:05 pm
Simply put Nick, in many situations the words that come out of our mouth are essentially a “first draft” and subject to revision, since they may represent only a rough approximation of what you wished to convey. Though your language may generally be adequate for your purposes, there’s always the risk that you’ll be misunderstood—and have your words taken as objectionable, if not obnoxious.
24/9/2021 06:44:43 pm
Hi Paul and thanks for sharing your reflections on this topic. I really like your idea of a 'first draft'. There are some resonances with this short piece too: https://www.nick-wright.com/blog/preference. Some people think out loud by speaking...in which case their starting point in a conversation is unlikely to be the same as their end point having spoken. I guess Adrian's guidance is to make what we want as clear and explicit as possible so that another party isn't left guessing.
24/9/2021 04:01:41 pm
Wishing you a delighhtful birthday Nick! May God's abundant blessings constantly pours into your cup of life. Thank you for your unending help to the poorest people of the Philippines. 🍻🎂🎉🎉🎉
24/9/2021 06:46:50 pm
Thank you, Paul. :) Thank you, too, for facilitating so many opportunities in the Philippines that have had such a positive impact in the lives of the poor. You are a star!
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