Problem Solving By Not Solving the Problem

No matter how anxious two people are to solve the problem existing between them, there is a greater urge that they almost always give in to.

The need to be right.

Most people can only listen to each other for only so long – and that’s usually not very long at all.  As David Burns says, “One attitude that gets in the way of good communication is the need to solve problems. I often tell troubled couples that they must refuse to solve the problems in their relationship if they hope to experience greater love and closeness”.

Being upset, arguing, bickering is not communicating.  And if anger is not shared openly – and it almost always is not – then game over.

The awesome power of listening is the tool that makes salespeople richer, careers more rewarding, relationships closer and it requires no skill other than keeping our mouths shut for a moment while simultaneously opening our ears.

Resisting a good argument even if you are “right” or if it is absolutely about “the truth” is the direct path to problem solving.

A friend of mine who brokers hundreds of millions of dollars of radio stations used to tell me that the terms of the deals often took a backseat to the dynamics between the dealmakers.   And that even when they wanted to do business together, they couldn’t get out of their own way.

When in doubt listen. 

Overcome the need to be right.

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