This video is about Building Trust – and how building Trust will Improve Relationships and the Enhance the Quality of our Lives. After you have food and shelter, it is the quality of the relationships that really make your life. Relationships are about trust. Where there is no trust, there is no relationship.

I’d love to hear your comments, thoughts, reflections and questions on this and the other educational videos on my channel.

I wrote a few years ago a longer post on The Trust Equation: https://conorneill.com/2011/11/17/trust/

How do you Increase Trust?

In order to Increase Trust =

  • Increase Perception of Credibility or
  • Increase Perception of Reliability or
  • Increase Intimacy or
  • Reduce Perception of Self-Orientation.

Ways to increase Perception of Credibility:

  • Tell the truth.
  • Don’t exaggerate.
  • Avoid saying things that others may see as lies (eg “We’ll put our best people on it”)
  • If you don’t know, say “I don’t know”. Quickly.
  • If you don’t belong, don’t go.
  • Do your homework.
  • Care about the work.

Ways to increase Perception of Reliability:

  • Make specific small commitments and deliver 100%.
  • Send meeting materials in advance.
  • Make sure meetings have clear goals, and that those goals are met.
  • Use the words your listener would use.
  • Review agendas for meetings.
  • Re-confirm events 24 hours before.

Ways to Increase Intimacy:

  • Ask insightful questions.
  • Share first.

Ways to Reduce Perception of Self-Orientation:

  • Ask questions.
  • Listen and paraphrase without adding anything.
  • Resist the need to fill silences.
  • Focus on defining the problem, not guessing the solution.
  • Say “I don’t know” if you don’t know.
  • Take responsibility for failed communications (Say “I have failed to communicate clearly”, not “You don’t understand“)
  • Think as if you were completely responsable for this person’s future success in all aspects that are important to the other person.
  • Care about the work. If you don’t care about the work, it is inevitable that you will focus more on yourself. Low self orientation is all about intensity of your commitment to help your listener.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-14-37-14I was listening to the Very Bad Wizards podcast episode #97 on how we really change our minds.  They discuss a manifesto for a new virtual country called Rationalia that was initially shared on social media by Neil Degrasse Tyson.  Here’s a very good reflection from Neil on the controversy triggered by his suggestion.

In The Land of Rationalia

In Rationalia, all decisions are taken because scientific data is collected and the evidence supports the law.  If you want to change a law, you suggest an experiment.  If the experiment produces evidence that the new law improves the conditions of Rationalia, then the law is passed.

In this land, reason wins.

This is not a country that we are living in now.  

This post is not going to get into the pros and cons of the nation of Rationalia.

 

How Do Politicians try to Change our Minds?

If I listen to political debate (Trump vs Hillary, UK Labour party, Brexit referendum) I do not hear rational arguments being put forward for a range of proposed policies.

I hear arguments that go to credibility (or Ethos, for those followers of Aristotle amongst you):

  1.  “You can’t trust her”,
  2. “She doesn’t have the energy”,
  3. “It was just locker-room banter”,
  4. “He says it does not represent who he is, but I think we all know that it really does represent exactly who he is”

There is nothing here about policies.  There is nothing here about the danger of the other’s flawed policies.  There is only raising of my trustworthiness and decreasing of the other’s trustworthiness.

Why has Reason disappeared from political debate?

I understand this shift.  I see three big reasons:

  1. People hold a wider range of beliefs
  2. more sources and types of data and
  3. more channels for experts to spread their views.

There has been such a broadening of accepted beliefs over the last half-century that there are few value systems that can be assumed to apply to the whole electorate.  There are few symbols that represent the same value to the whole electorate.  There are few bases for logical argument that starts from a widely held truth.

There is much more data, in many more forms (graphics, reports, video, analyst reports…), there are many more experts, there are many more sources for information.  The experts come at us through new channels – online, cable, satellite, podcasts, blogs, facebook, twitter…

It is confusing.

What do we do when we are Confused?

In this environment we seek voices we can trust.  (Check out The Trust Equation for an in-depth analysis of the 4 components of trust in relationships)

It is only a trusted voice that can open our eyes to a new perspective.

If you want to persuade someone, build a relationship. If there is no relationship, there is little chance of persuasion.

We only really change our minds when a trusted friend who knows us finally asks a question in a private conversation “Hey, why is that so important to you?  What effect do you think it is having on your life?  on those around you?…”

Who are your trusted friends?  Who do you allow to have influence on you?  

If life’s journey is like a bus ride: there are drivers, and there are passengers.

(there are also conductors, there are navigators, there are engineers…)

There are a lot more passengers on the bus than drivers.

What does it take to be a driver?

The drivers are people that passengers can believe in.  Who do we believe in?  I am reminded of the Trust Equation.  Trust is made up of 4 elements – credibility, reliability, intimacy and other-orientation.

Sometimes I am a passenger on the journey: I am seeking validation of my ideas, my projects and my life.

Great teachers know how to balance enough validation with enough allowance for the development of self-validation capacity.  The best teachers are mature enough to avoid giving me the explicit validation that I think I want, but they know that if they give it, I will become an addict to their validation, not to building my own inner capacity to self-validate.

…and my next question for today:

Whats the difference between a rockstar and a guy with a guitar in his bedroom?

Answers below…  What do you think?

You finish your pitch and the customer says: “Your product is too expensive!”.  You arrive home, you’re a few minutes late: your partner says “You are always late!”.  At a dirty plate left on the table: “you never wash the dishes!”

What do you say in this moment?

How do you handle objections?  It is possible to take proactive control of your emotional state.  You can practice a habit of not reacting like a viper snake or a cornered bear.  It will improve how you sell, it will improve how you manage… and it will improve the quality of your relationships.

Aikido Conversation

An Aikido Dojo

I posted a short video yesterday to my YouTube Channel explaining a concept that I teach in my class on persuasion: “Aikido Conversation”.

From: “What I want to say”

The most important step in persuasion is being able to leave behind “what I want to say” and move to what “they need to hear”.  It requires emotional control that we don’t have as standard.

To: “They need to hear”

When someone gives you an objection, or accuses you of something – the real issue is underneath, not at the surface.  If you react with what “I want to say” you will have a fight, you will lose the opportunity to understand what is really at issue.

How to deal with Objections

Transcript of the Video:

You finish your pitch and the customer says: “It’s quite expensive”… “Your product is too expensive!”

You arrive home, you’re a few minutes late: your partner says “You are always late”

At a dirty plate left on the table: “you never wash the dishes”

What do you say in this moment?

Most of you, and myself included, went through 14 years of school where we were taught one way to respond to questions:

Teacher asks questions “how do you spell cat?”
Student: “C A T”

Teacher: “what is the biological process called osmosis?”
Student puts hand up explains in detail the process through which cell membranes allow water to go from one side to the other.

So for 14 years you’ve been taught that you provided an answer to a question. If you went to university you probably had another 3,4 years where you gave answers to questions…  but in real life, in persuasion in getting to what the other person is really about, what their needs really are the worst thing you can do is give an answer to question. If someone says “your product is too expensive” and you said “no it’s not! it’s only €1000” you’ve lost every chance to understand what else is behind their reasoning.

If you get home and your partner says “you’re always late!”

“No no no! Tuesday I definitely was here on time”… you’re gonna have a crap weekend

You’ve had 14, if not 18 years of training that you answer questions and it’s going to cause fights in your home life, it’s going to cause problems at work, it means you’re not selling anything.

Because when someone says your product is too expensive, that’s not what their real issue is.  When someone says “I will have to speak to my boss” that’s not what their real issue is.

If we had lots of time here I would create a little role-play thing because what happens here in our model of the human brain: the stem, emotion

When your partner says “you’re always late” emotion goes up and what happens is this part disconnects. The way to make someone stupider is insult them, object to them tell them they are wrong. When asked a question there’s an emotional reaction.

Emotion up, Intelligence down

and the higher emotion goes
the lower thinking goes

so if you don’t practice this response you’re not going be able to do it in the moment.  if you don’t practice repeatedly how you’ll respond to

  • “you’re always late!”,
  • “you never wash the dishes!”,
  • “you never do your part of the share!”
  • “your product is too expensive!”,
  • “your competitor is better!”,
  • “you failed us 3 years ago!”
  • “I don’t trust your company!”

if you don’t practice this habit of not giving an answer. You’re not going to be able to do it in the heat of the moment.

So i would say this: when you are asked a question or given an objection what I want you to do is say “I understand”, and repeat in your words what they’re saying:

Them: “your product is too expensive!”

You: “I understand that money is an important factor for you, What other criteria will be used in taking this decision?”

You understand… and you give an open question back. I call this “Conversation Aikido”

Martial Arts

Martial Arts are about using the energy, the force of the opponent against them. In Judo, if someone punches you pull their arm and you allow the energy to keep flowing.  In Karate… don’t be where the energy is arriving.  In Aikido the concept is you go towards the punch, go towards the energy

If someone punches you, if someone asks you a question, if someone objects or says you’re wrong: The Aikido method is go towards and see the world from their view.

In Aikido you learn to go towards the punch, dodge it, and look and you are seeing the world in the same direction as the person who’s attacking you.

“I understand”

It takes some habit to start to be able to give “I understand” and fill in good words so practicing

  • “you’re always late!”…
  • “I understand you feel frustrated”
  • “I understand you feel let down”
  • “I understand…”

You will have to work on this quite a few times over the next 10 years to find the set of words that captures what the other person feels, what’s behind it

  • “What can we do now?”
  • “What happened during the day?”,
  • “What would you like to talk about?”,
  • “What can we do this weekend?”

so that is the way that instead of when you get punched, walking straight into the punch, having a very bad weekend;  when a client says “you’re too expensive!” and you say “No we are not!”: You learn nothing:

  • about who else they are considering
  • what other criteria are important
  • what process they have gone through
  • who else is involved in the decision

I hope that, and this takes 14 years of it being drummed into you… 4 more, 18 if you went to university.  It’s gonna take you at least 18 years to get out of the habit of responding to questions with answers

We live in an uncertain world and we don’t have the answers but by giving the answer we shut down the possibility of hearing what’s really going on in the other person’s mind, in the other person’s business, what other things are going on; so if someone says:

“your product is too expensive” -> “I understand that money is an important criteria for you what other things are important in this decision?”

“I’ll have to talk to my boss in this” -> “Hey, this is an important decision I understand you want to get everyone involved”  “When can I come and meet with you and your boss together?”

…that’s a bit of a closed question…

but the habit here is being good at “I understand” and accepting the energy that is coming from the other person and then giving back an open question

and I guarantee that if you do it 4 times: the answer to your 4th open question begins to be what’s the real underlying need issue, interest of the person that you’re listening to.

Sorry, gave wrong url in the email… here is the correct link for the 9 Steps to Becoming a Public Speaking Expert 

Are you being lied to?

Are you being lied to?  Yes. Often.

We Enjoy Lies. When we believe a lie, it is because we want to believe the lie.

“Everyone is hungry for something and they will give anything to get it” Pamela Meyer, Liespotting

I met Pamela Meyer at the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation University in Istanbul, Turkey about a month ago.  She spoke about Lie Spotting.  She has spent years working with the FBI to train agents in spotting deception.

She spoke about several clues that FBI agents learn to watch for when they conduct interviews.  You can read more about those clues in her book.  However there was a deeper idea that she left with me.

We Enjoy Lies

Bernie Madoff, $18 Billon fraudster

When we believe a lie, it is because we want to believe the lie.

Lying is a cooperative act. When somebody lies to us and we choose to believe it, we are cooperating with the liar. A great liar is excellent at quickly identifying what it is that you want more than anything. The liar’s lies will help you see yourself closer to the person you wish you were, but that inside you don’t feel that you are.

“Lying is the bridge between reality and our fantasies, between who we are and who we want to be. And it’s a cooperative act. You can only be lied to if you agree to it.” Pamela Meyer

If you are taken in by a financial scheme, it is because the liar has seen that you want to see yourself as a smart, financially savvy person; and you don’t feel that you are. Or it may be that your brother is richer than you and it bothers you, the con-man sees that your need is to feel that you are as good as your brother.

I sat there in the audience in Istanbul and I reflected on the types of fantasies that I have.  What type of person I would like to appear to be?  Where does my fantasy me most differ from my real me?  If a liar tells me that I show excellent discipline and consistency: I want to believe. If a liar tells me that I still look young, strong and healthy; I am prone to believing.  If Bernie Madoff told me that he only allows the elite few to invest, and that he has heard that I am a special person; I am prone to deciding to invest.

Caveat Emptor

It is where our fantasy most diverges from our reality that we will be most open to accepting deception.  What are your fantasies that a liar might use?  What do you want to believe that you are, but inside still have doubts?  Who do you want to love you, but inside wonder whether they do?  What groups do you want to belong to, and inside hope to one day be able to join?  In these situations, you will believe a liar’s deception.