At times, we all need to get someone else to make a decision. Whether it’s about signing off on a project, buying our product or service, or making reservations for dinner, results depend on someone making a decision.
The thing is, they will make the decision their way. They can’t do it any other way, and if they try, they will most likely be unhappy with the result.
Have you seen this to be the case? Have you, or someone close to you, said, “I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I shouldn’t have gone along just because I was talked into it.”
When we really want something for the other person, or need something from them, our good intentions can actually get in the way of how they NEED to make the decision.
Here are three common mistakes that block our effectiveness at helping others make good decisions.
Mistake #1: Putting our attention in the wrong place. When we are so attached to our own agenda, or really working on the best way to present our offer, or just nervous and worrying about how we are doing, our attention is on ourselves and not the other person. This not only keeps us from getting the information we need from them, it also unintentionally conveys that we are not really interested in them. Bad move for gaining trust.
Mistake #2: Being logical. Or, more specifically, using your own logic rather than the logic of the other person. Even if you listen carefully to what the other person wants, you are likely to organize the solution using your own logic rather than the sequence or emphasis that feels natural to them. If you offer services to others, the more you know about how they think and decide, the better service you can provide for them.
Mistake #3. Leading too soon or too much. People who are great at influencing have a wide range of behavioral flexibility. They can move quickly or they can be more deliberate to match the pace of their client. They don’t rush decisions. It’s a lot easier to avoid this mistake if you are avoiding mistakes 1 and 2 – so that you are listening and following the other person’s logic.
Correcting these mistakes shows the other person that you are being responsive to them. If you genuinely want to get decisions that are mutually beneficial, follow their logic and provide the information that they need to make a good decision for them.
Not only will you get better results in the short run, your relationships become stronger over the long run.