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If only they knew

A big mistake in communication is to assume that others would arrive at the same conclusions as you do if only they knew the same.

But that’s not true.

They have a different frame of reference.
They have a different set of values.
They’ve made different experiences.

And so, even if both of you have the exact same information, they may still arrive at a different conclusion.

Which means that there’s no use in bombarding them with ever more facts and details that support your conclusion.

It won’t change their mind.
They have already perfectly understood your point.
Missing information is not the problem.
They will still arrive at a different conclusion.

A better way forward is to try and understand their perspective.

What makes them arrive at that conclusion?
What do they see when they look at the question at hand?
What does it remind them of?
Which values are at play?

This puts you in a much better situation to answer the next set of questions:

What would need to be true for them to arrive at a different conclusion? (Is there a way for me to make it true?)

What would be an outcome that makes sense for them? (Is there a way for me to create that outcome?)

What do they really want? (Is there a way for me to make it easier for them to get it?)

I’d love to hear your strategies for dealing with situations where the others seemingly just don’t get it.

PS: If you want help in finding better words, not just more words, reach out!

Spread the Word

Picture of Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz