Show Respect for Others’ Opinions. Never say ‘You’re Wrong.’
I can recall one argument I had a few months ago. It lasted hours. I felt misunderstood. I refused to ask questions because I wanted the other person to know they were wrong. Finally enough time passed where we worked it out. Exhausted by the argument we decided to understand each other rather than explain ourselves. The foggy skyline of the argument evaporated and everything began to make sense. And in the end, we knew each other better.
This principle applies to meetings with clients as well as our everyday relationships with our spouses, our coworkers, our friends and family. What I have listed below are five steps to take instead of the “You’re Wrong” route. If you are meeting with a bride, a couple, or an organization, these five steps can help steer your meetings and consultations in a healthy and fruitful direction that will benefit both sides. When we take the “You’re Wrong” direction, the conversation tends to become more focused on defending one another rather than serving and trying to understand the other.
When you meet with your client or you have a conference call, these steps will navigate the conversation where everyone seems to have a different opinion. The client might have a different idea than you and they can be someone you learn from. Or your client very well could be wrong, but in order to build a healthy and beneficial relationship with them you don’t want to start accusing them. These steps will help guide you as you learn to communicate and work with those you do not see eye to eye with.
1. Don’t go into the conversation close-minded.
2. What’s your attitude like? Check yourself. Make sure you are going into this with an understanding heart. Accept that you can be wrong.
3. As they are speaking, try to see it from their perspective.
4. Ask questions.
5. Observe. Try to find the deeper issue. For example, when people are angry, that is only the surface of a deeper issue, like pain.