HOW YOU CAN TALK TO ANYONE IN EVERY SITUATION
However behind that behaviour is – believe it or not – a positive
intention. They are getting something out of behaving that way
or, and this is very important, they are hoping to get some-
thing out of behaving that way. What is that intention? Well,
until you know, you can only guess.
Why is it valuable to know this? In situations where we are
faced with ‘difficult’ or challenging behaviour, it can be very
easy to react and respond to the behaviour. Sometimes, this
means springing to our own defence. Sometimes it can result in
confrontation. Sometimes it can end in tears.
If you want to be the best you can be in these situations, then
here’s the secret:
Find the positive intention!
Don’t react to the behaviour but go on the search – ‘truffle
hunting,’ as one great communicator we worked with termed it
– for the intention that lies behind the behaviour. How to do
that? Let us give you a quick example – here is Bill’s story.
John was setting up to run a sales development workshop in a
client’s offices one day and one of the staff, called Joyce, was
helping him. He had his back to the door when he heard it open-
ing and Joyce said, ‘John, this is Bill. He’s on the workshop
today.’ Now John’s a pretty friendly guy, so he turned round, put
out his hand to shake Bill’s, and said, ’Good morning, Bill.’
Well, we can’t write out here what Bill said because this book
would never get past the censor! But he just let rip about the
waste of his ******* time, how sales training didn’t ******* work,
how it was flavour of the ******* month, how much ******* work
he had to do and every other word was ******* unprintable!
Now one thing you know as well as we do; storms blow them-
selves out. So John just stood there and waited. Although every
bone in his body wanted to react and he just wanted to say,