With a Flexible Focus, not Fixed, Find Common Ground To Click
When you have completely different values from people with whom you’d still like to have a click, be true to your values and blend with something else. It is almost always possible to find a context for some resonance.
You’ll only find it impossible to click if your attention is fixed solely on the differences that divide you from someone else. Stay fluid rather than fixated and you should be able to easily find some common ground. And once you have, it is much easier to find more meaningful areas of common interest. In this way, you can click with just about anyone.
A limo driver in Connecticut asked me some questions as we drove to my hotel. “What are you here for?” I told him, “To give a speech.” “What about?” he inquired. “How to Get People to Get You,” I told him. He practically swerved off the road, as he turned around and asked me, point blank, “How do you do that!?” I told him that I knew he valued my safety (positive projection), and that he knew my safety was in his hands. Then I told him I’d be happy to tell him the answer to his question if he promised to keep his eyes on the road while I talked. He promised, and kept his promise. Here is what I told him.
“I can see by that picture of your family on your dashboard that you love your family. And though you can’t see a picture of my family, I have one with me. So you and I both value our families. And I can tell by your question that you value learning, as do I. So even though you’re in the front seat and I’m in the backseat, we are both in the same car, and we have a lot in common. How do you get people to get you? Start with what you have in common.
“When we, as people, stand apart and emphasize our differ- ences, no solution to our problems is possible, because nobody cooperates with anybody who seems to be against them. But when we find a way to stand together on some common ground, we can resolve any differences that face us, overcome any challenge that threatens us. This is what it takes for you to get me, and for me to get you. Get it?”
He got it. He recognized the value in what I was saying, and I could almost hear the click. Do you get it? I’d love to hear your feedback, comments and examples.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.