How many times have you been in a situation where you left a conversation thinking “What is wrong with them?” or “Why are they acting that way?”
Too many times???
What can we learn about relationships from the little red book?
Well, I’m currently rereading Jeffery Gittomer’s book – The little red book of selling. In the book, Jeffrey talks about how a good number of salespeople think they know why their clients buy from them. But the truth is – typically they don’t really know what the buying reasons are.
To find out the real driving forces of why people buy and to prove a point, Jeffrey interviewed a host of his customer’s clients for 3 days straight to determine what the reasons were for purchasing. Through that process, he found 5 clear reasons.
Well, that got me thinking about relationships and communication. It also takes me back to my opening question – Why are they acting that way.
Often times, just like those salespeople, we really don’t know the answer to why someone is behaving the way they are. Unfortunately, that means many times we are left making assumptions or just ignore the issue.
To check, let’s see if any of these things ring true about someone you’re involved with – spouse, partner, friend, family, kid, colleague:
- They keep getting upset about the same thing over and over
- You keep getting resistance when you’re trying to do something you want to do
- You find that they are ‘over-reacting’ to something that you think should be relatively small
- They say you don’t listen
- They are complaining that you don’t know them
If you are experiencing any of these things consistently, then you most likely do not have the right assumptions(aka answers). And it might be time to do like Jeffrey did and begin asking questions to get to the real reasons why someone is acting ‘that way.’
Couple of Tricks you’ll want to use
Now there are a couple of tricks here when it comes to asking questions. You definitely do not want to go in and ask questions like “What is wrong with you?” “How many times are you going to react that way?” “Why are you being so sensitive?”
Listen, I’ve tried those questions and if you haven’t already experienced the displeasurable answer that comes from that line of questioning, I highly recommend you take my bad experience and don’t make the same mistakes. Trust me on this!
As a relationship coach, I can tell you that your best tactic will be to inquire with an open mind, steer clear from bias and judgment, have a willingness to learn the real answer, and have a willingness to support them in what they are needing.
Summing it up
So to sum it up – Let’s follow Jeffrey’s lead here and use communication, more specifically questions, to give us a more effective approach to our relationships. When we can begin asking the right questions, we will get closer to the answers of why someone is acting a certain way. And then once you have the answers, it’s much, much easier to implement a solution.
For more info on how to ask better questions, solve communication issues, and build better relationships, please connect with me at www.cotyevans.com