CONTACT Module 3 - Notice the other person first - The Power of Asking


Hi everybody. This video is step 3 in CONTACT. N in CONTACT stands for Notice the other person first. In this video I’m going to give you 3 steps to activate the Power in Asking.

The power in asking gives us power to influence others. Asking is the catalyst

Noticing the other person is all about living the most important rule in communications. Seeking 1st to understand then to be understood.

Module 1 and 2 in CONTACT are about Consciousness and Outing yourself wisely. 1st, your personal awareness and 2nd, your effective expression of self so you can influence. Next is noticing the other person.

A quick tip for you here. Remember that it’s safer to withhold some of our process and not out ourselves completely until we understand what’s going on for the other person.

Do you like to feel safe in an important conversation? A great communicator and leader wants to thoroughly understand the other person before full disclosure.

Remember not to assume the other person will respond or react the same as you in any situation. Each person HIP is as unique as our DNA. The other person could easily have a completely different response than you, to the same situation.

This and the next 2 modules are all about understanding the other person first. Do you like it when people show interest in you? Of course. The 1 step to understanding someone is to notice them. What’s the best way to notice the other person in an interaction? By asking about them.

Do you like it when people only talk about themselves and their agenda? Do you like it when people force their agenda on you before asking if you agree and why? Most of us don’t like it.   Don’t do it yourself.

Notice the other person. Engage them and keep them engaged. How do you do it? It’s simple. Use the tool I’ve been guiding you with throughout this program. Ask about their Human interaction process. Their HIP.

Why is it so important to know what’s going on for the other person? Consider this. We are all sales people. In every interaction with another person in our life, we are selling in some way. It happens automatically through the intention part of our own HIP. 

We sense, we think and perceive, we feel and then we intend before we act. In the intention part of the process, we want something to happen. We want the other person to respond in a particular way. We are in fact selling them on our intention in hopes they will act how we want.

In every interaction our intention is to influence the other person to do something, or think or feel something. We are selling them on an idea, or process, in hopes they act and process in a way that is congruent with us.

Brian Tracey, a Master Sales Trainer. says; “when we shine a light on the prospect, we sell more than when we shine the light on the product or ourselves.”  

When we notice them, shine the light on them, they feel like we care, like they matter to us. As a result they are more open to other ideas and influence. Are you more open to being influenced by a friend who knows and understands you or a stranger?

This fits right into Stephen Covey’s seek 1st to understand then to be understood. Knowing what’s happening in the other persons’ process allows us insight so we have a higher probability of influencing them and selling them on our ideas.

Think about it. When a sales person has asked you exactly what matters to you before trying to sell you something, how do you feel?  You likely feel like they care. You become more open to their suggestions when you feel like they understand you.

Do the same for others in your communications interactions. Seek to understand before being understood and trying to influence.

Here’s an effective 3 step process for understanding others. Quickly do steps 1 and 2 in CONTACT. 1. Become aware if your own HIP. 2. Express what your HIP is, quickly and concisely in a statement. 3. Ask 1 to 5 questions about what the other persons HIP is, in reaction to what you just said.

Ask them. What happens for you when you hear what I just said?

Or you can ask specifically about each part of the HIP, What are you… Sensing? Thinking? Feeling? Intending? How are thinking you’re going to act?

Here’s an example. A co-worker forgets to call a customer back in a timely fashion to solve their issue and the company receives a complaint. Here’s how I approach the corrective conversation.

Hey Charlie. I received a phone call from a customer. He complained you never called him back when you said you would, to resolve his issue. When I heard that I got concerned and told the customer I would look into it and get his issue resolved. What’s your side of the story?

With these statements I shared what I heard with my senses. I received a call from a customer. I listened to him. I shared my feeling, ‘concerned.’ I shared my intention. Look into it and get back.

Then, I asked an open question to try to understand what happened for Charlie in this process. I left it opened in hopes that he shares at least 3 parts of his HIP  in this situation.

If Charlie doesn’t share at least 3 parts of his HIP, I’ll ask more questions.  I want to know what Charlie heard and/or saw. I want to know what he was thinking. Depending on the situation I may want to know what he was feeling as well. I definitely want to know what his intentions are.

I want to know why he chose to act in the way he did. Which was to postpone getting back to the customer to resolve the issue in a timely fashion.

I want to know what Charlie’s HIP was in the situation. That’s what Noticing the other person is about. Noticing their HIP. Asking about it using one to five questions.

We want to know what others are seeing/hearing, thinking, feeling, intending. This tells us why they act the way they do or did. Then we know their full human interaction process in an event. When we understand them then we can seek to be understood.

With a full understanding of the situation, we can respond appropriately in an attempt to influence them to respond positively to the intention we have, which is to fix the situation for them and anyone else involved. We want to create win-win-win situations.  

If I don’t know the whole story I may say something inappropriate. Have you ever said something you wish you hadn’t after you heard new information or the whole story? Most of us have. I want you to prevent that. Seek first to understand then to be understood.

There’s a bonus you get, when you develop the habit of seeking 1st to understand.  Your intuition becomes more accurate. What would it be like if you had accurate intuition about other people’s thoughts and feelings in a crucial conversation?  

Would you like to know what other people are thinking and feeling when communicating with them? Would it be beneficial? Of course it would. 

How do you grow your intuition? By following instruction in CONTACT. In module 1, I asked you to take a step of imagining what the other person’s HIP is. In this module and the next 2, I’m asking you to confirm what it actually is.

As we go through the process, many times, of imagining what another person is going through, and then actually finding out and confirming exactly what they are processing, we learn to read people better and our intuition naturally grows with time.

If you want to grow your intuition, imagine what other people’s HIP is and then ask them what it truly is, and confirm the accuracy of what you imagined. Do it often. The more you do this, the more accurate your intuition gets and the better you get at communicating in tough situations.

As your intuition grows it becomes easier and quicker to navigate important, sensitive or corrective conversations. 

Be careful relying on and fully trusting your intuition though. Even the most intuitive people I know still need to ask and confirm in sensitive, crucial or corrective conversations. The most intuitive people I know are accurate, about 90% of the time.

When the stakes are high, 90% isn’t good enough. If you want to be a great communicator and leader, you need to know for sure what the other person’s HIP is.

Time for another important tip I want to share when you’re attempting to notice the other person. Be careful pushing others to share parts of their HIP. Have you ever had someone ask you what you’re thinking or feeling and not want to share it them? We’ve all had those moments.  

Do you like to feel pushed? There are times when people don’t want to share what they’re feeling or thinking. Don’t push too hard. Honor people’s right to privacy. Do you like your right to privacy at times? Yes or yes. Of course.

When people are resistant to sharing thoughts or feelings, there are other options. You might be able to find resolve by exploring other parts of their HIP. For example, when a person wants to withhold, or can’t articulate their particular feeling, explore senses, thoughts, perceptions and intentions instead.

I find that if I explore at least 3 of the 4 parts of another person’s HIP in a sensitive conversation, I can usually navigate to common ground. Sometimes not, so if the conversation is important, but it can wait, you could postpone it. Give him or her time to think and process.

Another option when someone is closed off, and it’s truly not that important to get a buy in, is to decide to just let everything go and move on.

But if a conversation is necessary and can’t be postponed. It needs to be done now, you’ll have to choose to navigate the conversation differently. You’ll have to get creative and strategic.

As you go through this entire CONTACT program you’ll get more tips for navigating resistant people in tough conversations, creatively and strategically.

So let’s recap today’s lesson. The most important rule of communications is to SEEK first to understand and then to be understood. Notice the other person first.

Follow the 3 steps. 1. Become aware of your own HIP. 2. Share it quickly and concisely. 3. Ask them about their HIP using 1 to 5 questions. You want to know exactly what their HIP is in relation to the topic at hand, to what you just shared.

Use the Power of ASKING. It’s is the key to influencing others and CREATING win-win conversation outcomes of any type.  Ask what they are sensing, thinking, feeling, intending and how they want to act. Or ask an open ended question. ‘What goes on for you when you heard what I just said?’

If we want to create win-win-win success scenarios we must take the time to ask, to listen, and to understand the stakeholders before offering solutions.

We can offer solutions and move towards resolution effectively only after we know the other stakeholders HIP. Use the power of asking to understand and then influence.

You will find the more you ask people about them, notice them, in any situation, the more they’ll  think you’re a nice person.

I’ve had conversations with people and later heard they commented to someone else,  “that Mike is sure a nice guy.’ In fact they knew very little about me. I hardly talked about me. I asked about them and they talked 95% of the interaction.

Your practice Exercise for this module is to practice noticing others using the power of asking. Ask others about them. Try talking very little. Notice the words others are using. Become a good questioner.

Ask about the things they mention and get them to talk more about it. If they mention sports, ask them a question about sports. If they mention cooking or food, ask about that. People like to talk about themselves and things that interest them. Asking engages them and trust begins to build.

Answer their questions when they ask and then ask another question to keep them talking. When you let someone talk about themselves, they let their guard down and you have more opportunity to influence.

Inquire about their HIP any time you think of it. Get good at Noticing people’s Human Interaction Process in any given situation. Your intuition will build. It’s a fun exercise too. Do it. Practice your questioning and listening skills.

The next 2 modules are all about listening skills. For now, Practice noticing others, asking more questions in all interactions. If you notice they are resistant, back off a little, for at least a moment. Make a different comment and ask about something else and learn to listen actively.

Thanks for watching. Go out and make it an awesome day. Like this video if you like it. See you in the next one where I‘ll teach you about active listening. By for now.

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