Monday, August 13, 2007

Understand The Problem Before You Diagnose

Suppose u have been having trouble with your eyes and u decide to go to an optometrist for help. After briefly listening to your complaint,he takes off his glasses and hands them to you."
Put these on, "he says. "I've worn this pair of glasses for ten years now and they have helped me, I have an extra pair at home; you can wear these."
So you put them on, but it only makes the problem worse."This is terrible!" you exclaim. I can't see a thing!""Well, that's wrong?" he asks. "
They work great for me. Try harder."" I am trying, " you insist. " everything is a blur.""Well, what's the matter with you? Think positively can't see a thing.""Boy, are you ungrateful!" he chides. " And after all I've done to help you!"
What are the chances you'd go back to that optometrist the next time you needed help? Not very good, I would imagine. You don't have much confidence in someone who doesn't diagnose before he or she prescribes.
We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first.
If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication.
This principle is also true in sales. Diagnosing before you prescribe is also fundamental to law.
A good lawyer almost rights the opposing attorney's case before he rights his own.
A good engineer will understand the forces, the stresses at work before designing the bridge.
A good teacher will assess the class before teaching.
A good student will understand before he applies.
A good parent will understand before evaluating or judging.
The key to good judgment is understanding.
If you want to interact effectively with to influence __ your spouse, your child, your neighbor, your boss, your coworker, your friend____ you first need to understand them.
And you can't do that with technique alone.
If they Sense you are using some technique they sense duplicity, manipulation.
They will wonder why you are doing it, what your motives are and will not feel safe enough to open themselves up to you.
Then as much as they want and even need to receive your love and influence, they will not feel safe enough to expose their opinions and experiences and their tender feelings.
Who knows what will happen? But unless they open up with you, unless you understand them and their unique situations and feelings, you wont know how to advice or counsel them.
What you say is good and fine, but it doesn't quite pertain to them.
You may say you care about and appreciate them when you don't even understand them?
All they have are your words, and they can't trust words.So if you want to be really effective in the habit of interpersonal communication, you cannot do it with technique alone.
You have to first understand, only then you will be understood.

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