Chapter 15: Wisdom When Encountering Confrontation
Talking too much about yourself is the habit of most people when trying to convince others to follow their way of thinking. You should give other people a chance to present their point of view. Most of them know more about their jobs and problems than you do. You should just ask and listen to their answers.
People trust you not because you talk a lot, but because you know how to listen. And, maturity begins when you care about other people’s problems rather than your own.
If you disagree with someone, you may have a tendency to interrupt them. You shouldn’t do that either. No one pays attention to you when they still have a lot to say. You should patiently listen with a caring attitude and encourage them to share their thoughts. People who have the ability to eloquence are not many, but even rarer are those who know how to be silent at the right time and extremely rare who know how to yield to others.
The most important part of any conversation is letting the other person express himself. After expressing their concerns, the interlocutor will be pleased with themselves and their knowledge, and naturally they will listen to us.
Is this approach beneficial in business? I firmly believe yes and the facts have proven my belief to be valid. For example, the story of a production company representative below:
One of the largest car manufacturers in the US is choosing a supplier of car seat cushions for a year. Three major firms have brought samples. In addition to carefully examining the number of samples themselves, the company’s appraisal board also invites representatives of each supplier to explain their products. It is the last chance to decide who will win the contract. A representative of a manufacturer was invited to present the product but unfortunately was suffering from severe laryngitis.
He said: “In turn, I was taken into a large room, where there were textile engineers, surveyors, sales managers and the chairman of the company’s board of directors. All sat around a large table. I stood up and tried my best to speak, but nothing came out but a hoarse voice. I had to write on a piece of paper: “Gentlemen! I’m so sorry. I lost my voice today. I can not speak”.
The chairman said, “Then I will speak for you.” Then he presented my samples and complimented them on their good points. A discussion about the merits of the models erupted enthusiastically among the members in a meeting where the president himself acted as our company representative. I just smiled, nodded, and made a few simple gestures.
As a result of this rare conference, I received a contract for up to 1,600,000 dollars. It should be emphasized that this is the largest order I have ever received. I would have lost this contract if I hadn’t lost my voice, because I was completely confused about how to present the product. So by accident I discovered that sometimes it is much more beneficial to let others speak.”
For families, this rule has the same effect.
Barbara Wilson’s relationship with her daughter Laurie deteriorated rapidly. Laurie, who was once a calm, considerate girl, suddenly became rebellious, stubborn and rebellious. Mrs. Wilson tried all means of persuasion, threats and punishment to her but to no avail. She recounted in one of our lessons:
“One day Laurie went to visit her friend despite my prohibition. When it came back, I was going to scold it like a hundred times before, but I didn’t have the energy to do so anymore. I just looked at him and sadly said, “Laurie, why, why did you do that?”. Laurie recognized my feelings and calmly asked, “Mother, is it really what you want to know?”. I nodded and Laurie began to confide in me.
At first, she hesitated, but then she spoke her mind. I never really listened to you. I always tell him to do this or not to do that. When he wanted to tell me about his thoughts and feelings, I interrupted him with other commands. I really don’t understand that children should be encouraged rather than commanded and forced to obey.
Listening to her talk, I began to understand that she really needed me, but not as a mother who always pretended to be powerful, but as a friend to whom she could confide, a place to confess everything, even teenage thoughts. Yet I just talked and talked over and over when I was supposed to be listening.
From that day on, I let him say whatever he wanted. He told me what he was thinking about, what was going on in his mind. Empathy and sharing really appeared and our relationship was much better. Laurie is back to being my cute little girl again.”
A big ad appeared on the finance page of a New York newspaper: Need someone with financial ability and experience. Charles T. Cubellis submitted an application. A few days later, there was a letter inviting him to an interview. Before arriving, Charles T. Cubellis dropped out many hours searching for all the information about the person who built that business.
In a face-to-face interview with that boss, he said: “I would be honored to partner with an organization with people like you. It was with great admiration that I learned that twenty eight years ago he began his career with nothing but a small office and a secretary. Isn’t that so, sir?”
Most successful people like to reminisce about their arduous startup days. This business owner is no exception. He told how he struggled to overcome difficulties and failures, working a day to sixteen hours, including Sundays and holidays, and as a result he overcame all the challenges to succeed.
Now the most important executives on Wall Street had to come and consult him. He is proud of his extraordinary achievements and is excited to be reminded of them. Finally, he briefly asked Cubellis about his experience, then called in one of his vice presidents and said, “I think this is exactly who we are looking for.”
Charles T. Cubellis took the time to learn about his future boss’s achievements and encouraged him to talk about his life. That’s why Cubellis has made a very effective impression.
La Rochefoucauld, a French philosopher, said: “If you want to have enemies, you must exalt yourself; if you want to have friends, put yourself below them”.
“If you lose to me, you will despise it, if you lose to me, you will hate it”. Jealousy is one of the bad qualities of human beings, it is always latent and waiting to proliferate. Perhaps, none of us want to create an environment for it to thrive.
“Orators are always rare. But even rarer are those who know how to be silent at the right time, and even more precious are those who yield to others” – M. F. Sovado
“He who wants to lead the people, know how to stand behind and serve the people” – Sainimarc
“Be better than you, and you will become our enemy. If you yield to others, you will become our friend” – La Rochefoucauld
Principle 15: Let the other person feel like they are in charge of the conversation.