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The Power of Understanding with Christine Miles, Ep #383

The power of Understanding with Christine Miles

What is it costing you to not listen? Over time, when you stop listening, it erodes your relationships. It might be at work, it might be at home, but it impacts every facet of your life.

That’s why listening is at the heart of learning to resolve conflict. Conflict resolution isn’t always about agreement—it’s about alignment. You need to be able to respect each other’s viewpoints and decisions.

And it’s why “The Power of Understanding” is the subtitle of Christine’s book. When you understand, you earn the right to lead, influence, and resolve problems. But most people aren’t wired to do this naturally. People assume they know how to listen, but Christine emphasizes this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Learn more about the interplay between listening and understanding in this episode of the Negotiations Ninja podcast!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:39] Learn more about Christine Miles
  • [2:37] What is it costing you to not listen?
  • [5:45] Story is the engine of EQ
  • [7:57] Why is it so hard to listen?
  • [9:46] How to pull stories out of people
  • [13:55] Mapping out your own story
  • [16:22] Earning the right to sell
  • [19:25] Try to embrace curiosity

Why is it so hard to listen?

Christine points out that if her car breaks down on the side of the road, she doesn’t know how to change the tire. She isn’t going to magically be able to figure that out on her own. She calls someone to help. It’s the same with listening. We think we know how to do it, but ultimately, we’re not prepared. We can only rise to the level of the training we’ve received.

We intend to listen to understand our partners and business colleagues—we just don’t know how. Christine strives to equip people with the tools to know how to listen differently. It’s simple but not easy.

Earning the right to sell

Salespeople are often misunderstood. Sales is a helping profession full of problem-solvers. But this is where experience becomes the enemy of listening. Salespeople think they know someone’s problem because they’ve heard it a hundred times.

Even when we know the problem, we have to control our own urges to say, “They’re not ready to be sold to.” Understanding first allows you to bring them on the path to the story together.

And sometimes, the buyers are the ones rushing to solve the problem. It’s easy to jump in and say, “Sure, I can do that.” But Christine emphasizes that they need to feel deeply understood before they can earn the right to sell and help solve their problem.

Try to embrace curiosity

Salespeople hear a lot of the same problems from many customers. Yet every person you talk to thinks that they’re unique or alone. You almost become dismissive of the problem that you hear because of this. But as soon as you become dismissive, the sale is lost. You can’t supersede your reality, for there’s.

We think we inherently know how to remain curious. Think about a five-year-old. They always ask “why” because they’re trying to understand the world around them. When you are in that situation, the inclination is to say, “That’s not unique.”

Instead, say, “That’s helpful; tell me more. How is that unique and special? Tell me what’s different.” You will gain insight that will lead to more understanding to help you solve their problem in a more specific way.

Christine also thinks that we overcomplicate everything. Sometimes all you need to say is, “Tell me more,” and people will tell you. They want to feel understood. They have a real problem that they want to solve. They like to talk about what’s in their world. Give them permission and be open to hearing what they have to say.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Christine Miles

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