Busy. Stressed. Ashamed. Awkward. Rushed. Annoyed. Upset. Uncertain. Feeling inadequate. Embarrassed.
These and many more reasons abound to justify your reluctance to pick up the phone or meet face to face with someone to talk things through, and instead send them an email. Or an SMS text. Or a Whatsapp message.
Notice the pattern running through all those reasons? Let me help you: none of it was about your audience, it was all and always about you. Your struggles. Your choices.
Remember when you last hid behind a text? Yesterday? Or was that last week? Was the initial feeling of getting the difficult task done soon followed by an uncertainty about possible ineffectiveness of getting your real point across?
You’re right. More often than not, your audience gets a clearer picture of what you just said than what you just wrote:
*Source: Profs. Justin Kruger of New York University and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago
Of course text-based communication has its place. But it cannot be used to replace verbal communication. Much better to regard them as complementary.
But it goes well beyond just being understood. There is a fundamental acknowledgement of our collective humanity in choosing to talk to each other. An acknowledgement that we are the same as the people we are talking to and that both of us are different from animals or rocks, for example.
Ever wondered why one of the most dehumanising punishments is to incarcerate someone in solitary confinement? The reason it rapidly causes mental health issues is that the prisoner is deprived of conscious and unconscious validation that they are still human beings.
Let’s return to your reasons for not picking up the phone to discuss that serious matter. Could the underlying motif be your unwillingness to speak to their values? Your insistence on keeping yourself front and centre stage? Perhaps even scoring your points without the obligation to listen to them and allow them to score their own points?
We all want to win, but that can’t always happen. Ordinarily, a winner requires a corresponding loser. If, however, we speak to each other’s values, there’s a good chance that we’d both gain something in the interaction or at the very least nobody loses out. Hence it’s a win-win situation.
This speaking to the other person’s values is not just about being accommodating of their preferences.
That will not make them “buy” our argument or proposition.
It is actually about consciously understanding the things that are important to them, that constitute their unconscious frames of reference as they go through life.
These values have been around in one form or another for over 2,500 years, but have recently been codified in the B.A.N.K.™ system specifically for our buying behaviour. This applies whether we’re buying goods, services, ideas, or relationships.
Properly understanding and using these values to modulate our interactions with others makes communication with others fascinating and a pleasurable experience.
So the advice over twenty years ago in the successful marketing campaign of a major telecom company that “It’s good to talk” is just as relevant today as it was then. Perhaps more so these days in your bid to cut through the information overload and disappearing attention span of your prospects and customers. It is really one of those ageless pieces of advice that stick, because of their enduring relevance. #AdviceThatSticks. #ItsGoodToTalk.
When last did you have a communication faux pas? What happened? How did you manage to move beyond it and achieve a win-win outcome?
To crack your own personality code and discover the link between values and customer buying behaviour, go to www.CodeMyValues.com.
Dr Fatai Badmus has over three decades’ professional experience on three continents. He was a medical practitioner for 11 years before fully focusing on business and is now the Info Solutions Provider and BANKCODE Certified & Licensed Sales Velocity Trainer & Consultant.