Are you really listening . . . or are you just waiting for your turn to talk? Part 1 of a series

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears — by listening to them.” Dean Rusk

IMG_3567I was coaching ‘Paul’ recently,  who was new to post but losing confidence and feeling isolated. I was asked to work with Paul as his coach to see if the situation could be remedied “before it escalates into a formal process”. Paul detailed his issues; one person hadn’t inducted him properly, one person was continually expecting him to cascade information he hadn’t been apprised of, another was expecting a level of detail in his reports that had only been explained in retrospect, which made him “look a fool”, and he was isolated from the team as he was “forced” to keep asking questions”, but he “couldn’t” ask questions of his line manager as he “would be think he was challenging them, like last time.” We worked on these individual issues on many fronts; through reframing paul’s perceptions and limiting beliefs, and Paul seeking feedback. However, despite offering up details as to how relationships had deteriorated with various members of the team, Paul identified his issues as being with the team as a whole, as opposed to seeing each person as an individual to be understood. Paul was intrigued to consider that it would be useful to understand his colleagues; what were their individual behaviours and what brought the best out of each individual. Therefore, he couldn’t get the best relationships/support out of them and so he couldn’t work to his full potential. It had never occurred to Paul to think about his colleagues as individuals who had their own preferred, learned behaviours, just that they didn’t think/behave/work the same way he did so he couldn’t “get through to them”; get them to understand what he needed. We spent an extended session talking through the language people use and metaprogrammes. I then asked Paul to spend the time in between sessions noticing the patterns that his colleagues drive. In the next session, Paul was really excited to share what he had found out, how he had used the information to build stronger relationships with his colleagues and how he felt so much happier in his work. He saw it as an aside that he had finally met his targets! I often share insight into metaprogrammes, as they offer such powerful information to consider when working with other people, but it can be a lot to take in in an hour’s session. I thought that if I wrote about them in a blog, then clients could use them as additional reference points. Initially, I began mapping out just one blog, but my head was reeling with how long that blog would need to be. So, in a series of blogs, I am going to share with you the details of the various metaprogrammes, and how you can use this information, for instance, to:

  • Motivate staff through change
  • Recognise differences to manage potential conflict
  • Communicate with stakeholders more effectively
  • Manage professional relationships

misuIs there anything that you would particularly like to understand about the patterns people drive or their style of behaviours? Please share your curiosity with us so that I can include specifics and add value to your understanding of the way we all operate. See you next week! “The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred.” — George Bernard Shaw If I only had the words – Billy Joel

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