A year or so ago I had a call from a gentleman inquiring about the MagicMethod course - the telephone names sourcing course. He wanted to buy it for a couple of people he had "in-house" that were charged with names sourcing and he asked me, "Does it teach them WHAT to say?"
I answered that it did not teach so much WHAT to say (though it does have plenty of examples of that) as HOW to say things - that the lessons were really about communication techniques - how to approach a Gatekeeper and ask her questions in such a way that would deliver responses with higher percentages of useful information contained in them.
"Huh?" he said.
"It's not so much WHAT you say but HOW you say it," I answered.
"Oh, right," he said. "Isn't that the truth? You can ask the same question three different ways and get three different answers. I understand that," he said. "Yes, I understand - sign us up!"
When I hung up, the conversation lingered in my mind and I've been turning it over there ever since. It even appeared in one of my dreams, in a crazy theme but there nonetheless. And the reason it seems to be lingering for me is all the Hellabaloo that's on my mind that's broken out in some of the groups lately. There are important lessons to be learned for all of us about the importance of propriety, civility and politics.
It's not so much WHAT people are saying to each other - the info is usually prized and extremely helpful; rather it's HOW it's being delivered. Being as this is a written medium that many of us prefer over telephone calls that can be interruptive and might become long-winded, some of our responses in here can be interpreted a multitude of ways in the reading.
The addition or lack of just ONE WORD or phrase can be devastating to the message. "That's your opinion and I respect it but remember, it's JUST/ONLY your opinion" might feel good to the typist flailing out a response to someone disagreeing with him but the impact it has is very sour and complicated. The shorter "That's your opinion and I respect it" would be a far more correct (and elegant) response that truly does respect the respondent's space.
Anyone else have any sentiments on this?
"The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven't thought of yet."
~ Ann Landers