How to get others to appreciate your great ideas?
Being supportive means going-with rather than going-against.
I was having coffee with a few local business men when I realized again that going against can be annoying.
A negative listening habit:
When you make a statement, my inclination is to think or speak otherwise. I’m a “what about this” person. I used to think it was a sign of intelligence when I offered improvements or suggestions. After all, someone said genius is the ability to think otherwise.
In conversations with people, however, thinking otherwise is more likely irritating than genius. An ill thought out “what about” throws cold water on others.
A positive speaking habit:
When the jolt of my epiphany subsided I started “going with” rather than against. It’s amazing how others feel supported when you go with their ideas rather than against.
The right to speaking otherwise:
At this point, you may be thinking what’s the point? If we bury our head in the sand, stand close and feel all warm and fuzzy, what’s the point of talking?
You earn the right to be heard by hearing others. Going with someone’s ideas first, earns the right to go against later.
Principle: Listen more than anyone else and others will appreciate your great ideas and wise suggestions.
Understanding another person’s ideas opens their ears to your ideas. St. Francis of Assisi put it this way, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Not universally true:
Don’t discount the idea of going-with rather than against because it’s not universally true. There are times and situations where going against is useful, even expected. I’m betting you’re good at going-against but, like me, a little slow going-with.
How do you open the door so others will hear, understand, and appreciate your great ideas?
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Another great blog Dan.
I agree so much with your lisetning comments. I heard it once said that ‘listening is an ethical act’ and it stuck with me. I believe it is Jacob Needelman who said that. I also like the acronym about listening: W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking? (I am sorry I do not know who created that.) Listening is definitely a major skill needed to open doors for shared conversations.
Other possible ways to open doors so others will hear our ideas are to validate/acknowledge theirs and ask them for their input on ours.
Hey Cinnie, how both this variation…’listening is an ethical art’. All art requires practice. 😉
Once again Dan, you prove why your blog is a must read.
I find a key for me is to ‘double-down’ on listening when the tone begins to escalate.
It’s tough for me, but productivity improves when I focus on the content vs the loudness. By listening and not matching the tone, the situation deescalates and other ideas have a chance to be heard.
“How do you open the door so others will hear, understand, and appreciate your great ideas?” I try to ask questions that show I was listening and want to learn more, and not just so that I can say “Yes, but…” Fostering true curiosity about others’ ideas is useful – and fun.
I love the principle of “Listen more than anyone else and others will appreciate your great ideas and wise suggestions.” That isn’t saying listen ALL the time, only more than anyone else.
Excellent post, although I don’t think Covey gets the credit for being the first to say, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” I think Francis of Assisi said it before him. But it’s good to be reminded of the principle, thank you!
Thanks for the heads up on the quote. After a quick search I found you are right. I corrected the attribution.
I believe listening is the great skill and plays important role to make others to hear, understand and appreciate your ideas. But that alone is not enough. As Steven Covey has mentioned: seek first to understand then to be understood. It is really a powerful message that means you need to understand fully then only you can be able to convince others. So, if you only listen and do not understand fully, it may not work. Other important skill is empathy. You need to understand the others point of view before making opinion, or answering anything. This helps to make effective and complete sense to make others to hear, understand and appreciate you.
I start with asking relevant and simple questions. This makes them to feel free to speak up their opinions, perceptions and feelings. I hear, understand, appreciate or oppose with my understanding. This helps me in a great way to understand others point of view and their knowledge level. Then I put up my thoughts without imposing on them and ask them whether they are agreed or not. In case of disagreement, I try to exemplify with simple logic and experience. I think being simple and humble while taking others opinion and putting your opinion is the key to make responsive platform where others hear and appreciate your ideas.
Great post Dan, I agree with what you have to say here, so ill just sit back and listen…..
On the other end of the spectrum I find little more annoying than someone who when they hear a story, comment, etc. has done the same thing 10x as often and 10x better. If you climbed a mountain they climbed two. Not only that but these mountains were twice as high in the sky. If you learned to ride a bicycle, they learned to ride a unicycle while juggling, etc. It gets old fast.
The people who feel obligated to 1-up anyone who speaks quickly lose credibility and eventually no one wants to hear anything they have to say because it offers “0” value.
Thank you! Very good comments. I totally agree with Cinnie that ‘listening is an ethical act’. Where I live we call it “folkeskikk” meaning that this is and should be common sense and the way of people in general. Meaning it should also be a moral act. However it must be sincere and in no means artificial. This will backfire.
This is not easy. It’s so easy to be to eager – pounding away. 🙂
A simple, yet brilliant, and very difficult idea you promote here, Dan.
Entering conversations with the intent of merely sharing your own ideas is very common and very frustrating. We all want to be heard, so offering the same respect we would like to receive from others seems like something that would come naturally to us – but obviously it doesn’t.
One way I promote listening is helping people understand when they’ve crossed lines from being a listener to interrupting and taking over the conversation. I will ask people to let me finish my idea (or on behalf of another), and when I’m done, I’ll ask for their response, thoughts, ideas.
I’m not sure we’re necessarily aware when we become the cold water thrower, so a reminder once in a while helps to promote good listening and draws respect boundaries.
Great post Dan, I will be at a meeting on Friday with school board president’s from across the state of NM. We will be discussing ways to improve education in our state and the lack of funding to do it. I will let you know how this works out. If I can will try to provide twitter updates. The concept certainly gives me a great way to help keep the conversations going in a positive direction!
Thanks for the great post! One thing I’ve also learned on the topic of conversation and listening is the following:
I recently met a new friend who I ended up having some long and awesome conversations with. Some of them were very personal for me and I noticed that he did something more of us should practice when we want to give others our feedback and advice…
HE ASKED ME IF HE COULD GIVE ME HIS OPINION.
He did so in a gentle manner that made me realize that we have the right to not listen to others. Conversation should be treated with respect as should all things. Before you walk into someone’s home, you wait until you are invited in. When you are invited into anything, you are much more respected and reciprocated. People will listen to you because the respect is mutual.
Awesome post and thanks again, Dan!
I think this is your first comment on LF. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing your story.