« Attitude - It's up to You | Main | aahhh St Barts - The Perfect Vacation »

April 30, 2005

Did I say That?

A couple of weeks ago Seth Levine of Mobius Venture Capital had a great post on being "responsible" in a relationship. Seth points out that if each person takes 100% responsibility for the communication inside of a relationship (personal, business, family, etc) that there is probably going to be much more frequent and meaningful conversation vs. each person being 50% responsible. 

I'd like to take it one step further.

I've been around a great deal of people that are totally oblivious as to how they "occur" to the person(s) that they are talking to, being with. In fact, I'd assert that by far, the majority of people have no idea what others are thinking about when they speak. Most are more concerned about what they are saying than what is being heard. Of course, all of us process whats being said by others through whatever filters that we have, based on our past experiences. The best communicators put themselves "in the other persons shoes" during any and all communications. Simpler said, when you're speaking, what is the other person hearing - other than your spoken words. How are you "occurring" to them. What are you leaving them with - what are they thinking. You see, in the end, it doesn't matter what you say - what matters most is what they hear. It's that perception that they will take action on. Not by what you said. btw - the best way to tell what heard when you said what you said.....ask them! More importantly, ask them for the color around what you said. And beware, most people are not honest enough to tell you.

So taking Seth's post one step further, the most powerful relationships are those in which you are 100% responsible for what the other person is hearing/thinking during whatever conversation you are having with them . So you are not only 100% responsible for what you have said, but also 100% responsible for what they heard. This is about being "intentional" in a conversation. At the end of this conversation, what do I intend to have them think about, feel, etc.

We've all heard the old adage "talk is cheap". From my perspective, we've "cheapened talk". Conversations today have become more and more about trying to prove something. That's not a conversation, that's a one way communication - a lecture. A conversation is about exchanging information, sharing ideas, experiences, in a way that imparts knowledge or creates an environment for something to occur - good, bad, whatever.

Now , you might be left thinking that this sounds a bit complicated, or hard work. Try it on. And if you find that the conversations are longer, have fewer of them, but really concentrate on what the other person might be left thinking about. You'd be amazed at the broadening/deepening of the relationship that will happen. Fewer, higher quality conversations will open up a whole new world.

April 30, 2005 in Business, Weblogs | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Did I say That?:

» Taking 100% responsibility one step further from VC Adventure
Sandy Hamilton (one of the key execs at Newsgator) did a nice follow-up post to the note I wrote about taking 100% responsibility. [Read More]

Tracked on May 1, 2005 4:23:02 PM

» Strategic Matters - VC, Sun, IT, Advertising, Infrastructure from Strategic Board Blog
IT begins shift from asset to commodity - It's been two years since Nicholas G. Carr became the bogeyman of the information technology industry, when he published an essay in the Harvard Business Review called ''IT Doesn't Matter." - boston.com Ventur... [Read More]

Tracked on May 2, 2005 1:51:30 AM