How to Invite the Preferred Response
Say the right thing the wrong way and you’ll disconnect.
Intent to connect, correct, or be useful isn’t useful unless content, tone, and body language fully align.
Everything you say invites responses from others.
What responses do your communication methods call for?
- Aggression calls for agreement or disagreement. It’s hard to dialog or discuss with aggression. Aggressive people complain, “Why don’t you talk to me? Why didn’t you share your views?”
- Passion is aggression with a smile. It invites a bit more discussion but mostly people agree or disagree. Those who agree, support. Those who disagree, run or roadblock.
- Sadness invites sympathy or withdrawal depending on how much the audience cares.
- Correction calls for agreement or defense. Responses have more to do with how you are perceived by others. Experts receive head nodding – persistent critics get distain.
- Loud volume, when you have power and position, calls for quiet from others, unless they’re equals, stupid, or close friends.
- Soft tones invite others in.
The quality of your interactions is determined by the way you talk, not what you say – assuming you are at least average intelligence. You can say the right thing in the wrong way. Or, you can say the wrong thing with pure intentions. Neither works.
Good intentions don’t guarantee
Before you talk, ask:
- What feelings am I inviting?
- What responses am I seeking?
- What outcomes am I pursuing?
- Smile more – frown less.
- Ask more – make fewer statements.
- Lower volume – don’t raise it.
- Soften tones – avoid harshness.
- Be clear quickly – don’t beat around the bush.
What secrets have you learned about inviting the responses you seek?
Thanks for number five. Be clear quickly.
The brain likes to work quickly.
I also think that those who beat around the bush are being prematurely defensive.
Communication = Interaction, as you clearly point out. Communication can build bridges between people, help them to see and explore win-win situations, collaborate, and together deliver more value.
Thanks again Dan for another great blog!
Thanks for the good word Ben. Here’s to great interactions!
Your suggestions to invite responses are excellent. We need to align our words with our intentions. Non verbal language are most powerful. They reflect the clear signals of our intentions. So, leaders need to master in non verbal communications. I believe that Curiosity, humbleness and acceptance invite favorable responses. We need to show our curiosity to get right responses from others. You need to questions like How, Why and I was not aware. The important thing is that you need to appreciate and acknowledge the others. This initiatives and encourages more responses further. In case, you get unfavorable response, maintain your composure and make others feel that you still take it positively. People do not like to offer information and advices who generally rejects or questions it. Even if you want to question it, first be in agreement, look for possibility and then express your opinion.
Human beings need respect. So, you need to respect the person giving preferred response. Open and publicly appreciation for advice invites more and perhaps better responses. Ego is the enemy to get preferred response. So, Egoistic person repels preferred responses or information.
Another great contribution. Thanks for extending the conversation.
Here are a couple points of clarity I’m taking with me:
1. I believe that Curiosity, humbleness and acceptance invite favorable responses.
2. Human beings need respect.
I’m thankful for all you add,
Agree with Dan – curiosity , humbleness and acceptance – what a wonderful world we would live in if we can all take that on board. Thanks Ajay,
Hi Dan, several years of posts on this topic :). Taibi Kahlers work on the Process Communication Model, also looks at how both parties must have their needs met or the communication descends – these needs aren’t the obvious needs (as in i need an answer or action) but the subtle ones that acknowlegede peoples ability to think, act, feel, perservere, create etc. and interestingly both parties need to have these met.
It transformed the way I looked at conversations and saved me from many of my own vices more than once!
Always a pleasure finding you here. I went off and did a little search on Kahler – thanks…
One of the things I saw was an interest in generating a feeling of rapport — something you are very good at.
Thanks for extending the conversation.
Best to you,
thank you for your generosity Dan. Richard
I appreciate that link Master Croadie! Always good to have a new resource. Cheers!
love “Master Croadie” .. 🙂
This was an great post for me this morning as I contemplate a touchy coaching call that I have scheduled today. It was just what I needed – thanks!
Hi Kelly, Always a pleasure to be of service! Cheers, Dan
As someone with a naturally loud voice I sometimes forget that it can be seen as agressive to those who don’t know me. Thanks for the reminder.
Hi Bonnie, Most of us louder folks need a reminder to lower the volume and soften the tone, from time to time. Cheers! Dan
The response recipe may have many ingredients, with three being emotional elements, very small amounts gradually mixed in to taste might be the best approach. A pinch of passion, at the right time may be called for, easily overdone though.
Definitely thinking (not acting on an immediate feeling) ahead before adding is key. Thinking about how you say things now does impact long term results and reactions. Thinking about when (and how) you say things impacts the long term.
We do seem to get wrapped up in the ‘right’ words, when
it is more what goes on between the words that gets through. I am reminded of the Far Side cartoon, ‘blah, blah, Ginger’…what dogs hear. Thanks Dan.
Always a pleasure! You make me smile and laugh as well as teach.
“Think ahead before adding” KaChing… I find I’m keeping my mouth shut much more.
What goes on between the words is what gets through!
Thanks for your creativity.. it helps me think in new ways.
This is – as typical – a very great summary and reminder… I really like the respect addition… and might add “believe the best” and “seek to understand”… if these are sincere attitudes when I begin a conversation, it seems to go better for all involved!
I find believing the best keeps me from saying dumb things based on negative assumptions.
Great post! I love how clear and to the point your blog is. You’re reminding me to cut, cut, cut! I love how this post helps to emphasize how each person has a role in an interaction. So many people blame others without an awareness of what they are putting out there. Thanks for the reminder!
Thanks for the encouragement. And best in your writing.
Thanks for adding the “blame” dimension. We blame others when in reality we called for the response we received by the way we communicated.
Great post. It brings to mind for me the adage of “seek first to understand then to be understood.” Paying attention to the response that you will generate is a critical, and often missing, part of communication.
You say, “Say the right thing the wrong way and you’ll disconnect.” Sometimes, we have to ask the person who is addressing us to clarify *their* intent so that we aren’t tempted to disagree or withdraw, but prepare the setting for a true discussion – which really might be the communicator’s true intention.
Unfortunately, not everyone reads your blog!
Truth be told, sometimes I wish people would speak up to me so I can clarify my intention before we go down the wrong track.
An interesting post. You need to be straight in your communication talks with politeness and respect. Emphasize on things that you desire from a receipient with a convincing message. Always, show the organization interest for a desired action and show the urgency.
Don’t feel guilty in reminding the seniors if they are in a habit of procrastinating with no decision. Maintain the dignity but be tough at times in your written communication. My experience has taught me this lesson over the years
Love the post as usual.
Something I read recently from (Soul Mates -Thomas Moore) is that conversation is different from discussion. It hovers between people, leaves gaps and can be rambling.This is conducive to intimacy.
I think we can bring some elements of this to every encounter, regardless of the context.
Great piece Dan….and something I have been working on (wish I could say I’m getting better…but it takes some time) thanks
Great post. Sometimes I find speaking softly helps people to open up and respond well.
Wise words. 🙂
I think a lot of what you say can apply to regular relationships as well as business ones.
Unfortunately, my husband and I are both naturally loud people, so what others may perceive as threatening is us being inviting. XD
Reblogged this on Cheryl Becker and commented:
I’m always interested in thoughtful posts about communication. This one is great, and I’ll add it to my communication “toolbox.”