GETTING HEARD. Need help getting others to listen. One of my blogging friends who is also a Buddhist scholar–something he might deny–said this:
The Buddha taught only “perfect wisdom,” that is, “right
teachings” were taught to the “right disciples” at the “right time.”
In other words, the Buddha taught only what the disciple could comprehend.
Thomas Phelan,PhD, agrees. He wrote One, Two, Three Magic, a parenting book that has my five star rating . He believes today’s parents make two mistakes: Parents think children are little adults. Parents talk too much.
Buddha would say the same of teachers.
I say the same of all Power Leaders.
Parent, teacher, preacher, supervisor, big boss if you are not being listened to, a common complaint among Power Leaders, you are not talking so the other can understand. Sensing that the other doesn’t get it, you are probably talking too much.
Tip number one: Remember communication is response. If you aren’t getting the response you want you are not communicating and you need to see that as your problem. Make certain the person knows exactly want you want. Make sure you are speaking language the other understands.
Tip number two: Take a three strike approach. Phelan actually counts the strikes with children. “Three” and they are off to time out. My approach as a supervisor or boss didn’t involve calling out the numbers. This was my routine:
First time, it becomes clear the other person wasn’t hearing what I said or expected, I took the take the blame.
“I must not have been clear about what I wanted. Let me repeat myself and then if you don’t understand, please let me know what is not clear.”
Second time, up the anti a bit and put the responsibility on the other person.
“I really thought we had agreed, you knew what was wanted. What went wrong? How can we fix it?”
Third time, do something.
“I have to write this up and that is a black mark on your personnel record.
With my three strike program, a written report constituted an out and three written reports, meant you went back to probation and three more meant you were fired.
Tip three: Repair the relationship. When you take disciplinary action, it damages the relationship. Very few people like criticism; fewer thank you for imposing sanctions or taking disciplinary action. Repair starts with having a good relationship. Research shows a good relationship contains at least four positives for every negative. Keep that balance in mind and following criticism or disciplinary action make an extra effort to treat the other with the usual respect, good will, and good manners everyone deservcs.
Magic? Absolutely not. Better for me. Definitely, I felt I had been fair and given the other person every opportunity possible to keep their job. But it also meant staff had to do what was expected. That is a leader’s responsibility.
A final word. As Phelan admits, some actions require a strong response with no warning. If I discovered staff stealing, there was no second strike.
Here is a power point, I prepared and presented at a staff meeting to tell staff how to keep their jobs and listing why people could get fired. I had taken over a larger department and discovered a number of situations which lead to either an immediate or eventually firing. If you are a manager or boss, you might find it useful.
Share, care, and stay strong.