Recently, I, Deb Ingino, a dyed-in-the-wool New York native who says things like “Lon-GUY-Land”, dared to go where few of my species would ever venture to explore. I attended the Grand Ole Opry.
And here’s the part that still has my family staring at me as if they have just seen a UFO…I actually enjoyed it!
The truth is, I was in the area for a mastermind meeting with a group hosted by Dan Miller, Andy Traub and myself, and this was one of the activities. I decided to make the most of it. It ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life – both from the onstage performances and within the group who attended with me. We had a grand time!
Aside from coming away with a new favorite song, my obsession with which is about to drive said family over the proverbial edge, I learned a very important lesson that we often fail to practice.
That lesson is: “Leave your world and enter theirs.”
That principle is at the very core of good communication, and it works at every level – from the classroom to the Board Room. It also works in New York and Nashville – from the Metropolitan Opera House to the Grand Ole Opry.
It works with Millennials and Baby Boomers, and the generations between, before, and after. How many communication problems could be resolved if we just took the time to “leave our world and enter theirs?”
My business is centered around helping leaders and their teams improve their performance, and it begins with a study of people. We are each a unique blend of strengths, skills, and experiences. What I have observed across the world, in business and in personal lives, is that if you communicate with someone based on their strengths and style, and if you tap into their field of interest, you will have a very meaningful and rewarding conversation.
Enter Their World to Communicate
As you communicate with those who are opposite your strengths, you will want to adapt slightly to match their style. For example, if you are an extroverted leader, you are likely to talk and move swiftly. You will speak directly, in short sentences. If you like something, you will say so; and if not, your dislike will be abundantly clear.
A fellow extrovert will appreciate these qualities.
But if you are leading an introvert, this approach could cause them to shut down. To them, it may feel like a personal affront, which is obviously not your intent.
The solution: “Leave your world and enter theirs.”
Now the fact is, you will never be quiet and low-key (unless you are sick, and maybe not even then), but you can soften your tone slightly, adjust your cadence, and give a little more detail.
When you do this, the introvert will likely respond by entering your world as well. Once they are comfortable with your style, they will increase speed, learn to speak and write in bullet-points, and be more direct in their communications with you.
This creates a win-win situation, where you are getting things done quickly, and they are ensuring the details are in place.
Enter Their World to Create Experiences
If you have children, you know that each one is different. One child may thrive on challenge and being outside; one may prefer being inside, reading a book. Another may love to be around people, while another prefers solitude.
In terms of creating enjoyable experiences, you will need to approach the idea from their vantage point, not yours. One example is the introverted aunt who has been known to climb trees with the boys in the family who loved outdoor challenges. They are grown now, but have never forgotten the experience.
Whether you are dealing with children, teenagers, or adults at home or in the workplace, this same idea applies. Learn to create experiences the other person will enjoy, then join in with them. You will both benefit from the experience.
In terms of work assignments, ask yourself if the person you have in mind would find the assignment enjoyable. This is a sign that you have tapped into their strengths. They will respond by producing great results, and will appreciate your consideration.
Enter Their World to Fill a Need
Business is very much about people. It’s the people who work with you, and the people you serve. Take some time to leave your world and enter their world of need.
Ask yourself, “What do they need?” The more specific you can be, the stronger your basis for knowing how to fill that need.
Many business owners start a business to do what they want to do. This is common. But those who succeed for the long haul are those who think into the needs of others, and then use their strengths to fill those needs.
Are you finding it challenging to connect with someone at work or in your home? Try leaving your world and entering theirs…and if, perchance, you happen to end up in Nashville, don’t miss the Grand Ole Opry.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.