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The Church – understanding others!

A group exercise on ‘Understanding Others’ which I’ve carried out successfully in the past, goes like this: draw a picture of a church on a flip chart in front of a group of people and ask them what ‘Church’ means to them?

Depending how diverse the group is, you will receive differing comments about love, peace, togetherness, and probably a lot more besides! What this exercise helps to demonstrate is that we can see the same concept from many different perspectives. To help understand other people, having the ability to ask and understand why somebody thinks in a certain way is vitally important.

I then ask the group: “If I was going to influence you with my views of the church, what would I need to do?”

The reply usually starts off along the lines of having a strong message, being believable, or being passionate. The group then begins to realise that I would need to understand their views first and understand why they hold those views and opinions.

This demonstrates how important it is to understand other people’s views first. However, how often do we try to convince, influence and communicate with people by just expressing our views without trying to understand theirs?

Being a good communicator isn’t just about getting your message across; it’s about listening and, more importantly, understanding why someone thinks in a particular way. What are their views, what are their feelings and what are their beliefs based upon?

Once you are aware of all this, you can decide how best to influence that person by talking about the topics that are important and of interest to them.

Understand others first before trying to make yourself understood.

Having excellent consultancy skills is very important in making the right impact on other people.

To be a great consultant, first you need information, particularly information on the person or business you are dealing with. You can’t make recommendations and proposals unless you understand their needs, wants and desires. It is important that you personalise your communication rather than just throwing a lot of mud at the wall.

Often salespeople will make the mistake of trying to sell to people instead of helping people to buy from them. This is done by first understanding the other person’s needs, wants, and desires, before making the most appropriate recommendation based upon the information gained.

You can find more details on this and other future proofing yourself ideas in my new book: Future Proof Yourself via:

The Endless Bookcase or Amazon

Extracts taken from Chapter Four: Managing Your Key Skill Sets – Future Proof Yourself by David Yeabsley.

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