Easy, Yet Very Difficult…

The Watson brothers...

The Watson brothers…

All right y’all … Jimmie and Charlie Watson here…

Today we would like to share some thoughts on how to create positive energy in another person.  This is a critical skill that will lead to having healthier and more meaningful relationships…

Easy to understand, yet very difficult to accomplish.  What we are referring to here is how to promote value in another person. In other words, how to have another person leave an interaction with you feeling appreciated, respected, cared for, as well as positive energy about themselves.

Would being able to promote value in another person be helpful to you? How about personally? Professionally?  With your family?  If your answers are yes and promoting another person’s value is something you want to be able to do, then an important question that needs an answer is how to do it?

Over the years we’ve asked groups of people if they considered themselves to be effective relationship builders.  The majority responded that they were.  We next asked them to explain how they would advise another person seeking information on how to be an effective relationship builder. The answers we heard at best were vague with very little substance.  We heard responses like “it takes time”… “you need to get to know them first”…” be polite”… “be friendly”… “seek a common interest”… “offer to help them”… and more… We refer to this as schmoozing. Now take a moment to think about how you would answer this question before you read further.

Okay, because we are engineers, let’s get under the hood and take a look at both the art and science of effective relationship building which fundamentally boils down to being able to promote value in another person…

First, lets consider the science which is understanding and accepting the following:

  • Everyone has a Valid Point of View…
  • Healthy Relationships contain an equitable exchange of value
  • One of our basic human needs is to feel valued
  • We all have a need to be heard…
  • Emotional Intimacy, knowing the difference between a thought and a feeling, which most of us struggle with, plays an important role in the ability to hear the intent of what’s being said…

Now let’s review the art which is the skill and capability of the listener to:

  • Hear what’s being said as well as not being said..
  • Hear the intent of what’s being said…
  • Accept what’s being said as a valid point of view…
  • Hear without the filters of prejudgment or prejudice…
  • Hear without preparing a rebuttal…

Pause here as you think about what you have read, and reflect back to a time when you said something at home or work that was dismissed, overridden or criticized.  How did you feel when that happened?  Conversely, how did it feel when what you said was heard, appreciated and reinforced?

If your answers are what we think they are, you now know how to promote the value of another person. You do so by giving him voice, the opportunity to be heard.  Then you listen and hear what’s being said as well as what’s not being said.  How can you hear what’s not being said you ask?  You accomplish this by asking questions seeking clarification or an expansion of what the other person is expressing.

Easy to understand, yet very difficult to accomplish.  Why so difficult you ask?  Accomplishing this is a challenge for most of us because:

  • Our own need to be heard overrides our ability to hear what’s being said…
  • We half listen while thinking about how we are going to respond…
  • We listen with filters that influence what we hear…
  • We often need to have the last word…
  • We tend to be more judgemental than accepting..

Well, that’s it for today. Let us hear about your relationship building successes, challenges, and whatever else you’d like to share.  And please send us any questions you have about today’s topic.

In the spirit of living and learning,

“the Watson brothers”
This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I do think that listening intently with no judgment or need to be heard is a critical aspect of helping another feel valued. Many people struggle with truly listening. I think as we age and become more settled in our being, we develop less need to prove ourselves and therefore may be more apt to be able to listen to others unselfishly and completely, In that case it is a win-win because you actually get to know the other person in a new way and you have given them voice and value.

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