It may not be the droids we’re looking for, but the words we use can have just as dramatic of an effect on us. The danger with some entrepreneurs is that our ego or our vision can get in the way. We assume that the people we are talking to are on the same page as we are, and the words we use have the same meaning to others, which often leads to misunderstandings. If we slow down, and communicate like a Jedi, we can learn so much more.
Below are two ways that’ll help you build rapport, understand your clients or customers needs, and ultimately make more sales:
1. Ask The Lazy Jedi Questions
These are based on Clean Language and were devised by David Grove. They’re often associated with Neuro Linguistic Programming, but can be used in any setting. They’re two powerful questions that help you to put aside your ego and your assumption that you know what the other person means. Words are a terrible way to communicate and so we must dig deeper.
What kind of X (is that X)?
It may seem simple enough, but the application of it can create a deeper level of understanding. A co-worker may say they’re overworked, to which you can reply “What kind of overworked is that?” to help them truly discover the reality of their situation.
It can also be applied to yourself. For example, if you say “I will be successful by the end of the year,” this requires clarity to discover how you can do this. A good question to ask yourself is “What kind of success is that success?” It may seem clunky at first, but try it out. You can use it at work or in your personal life, and you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be.
Is there something else about X?
This could be used on it’s own or after the first question. We often assume when someone has finished talking that we have all of the information we need, yet that’s often not the case.
A little prompt can work well in helping to gain clarity. Our ego can’t wait to jump in and reply by giving advice. You must remember to be Jedi like since you don’t know all of the information yet.
Is there something else about that tech issue? Is there something else about that lack of motivation? Our goal is understanding, and by asking for clarity and mirroring their words back to them, we make sure that these lines of communication are open.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
Both of these questions are vital in negotiations in order to make sure both parties are clear on what is happening. For example, let’s look at a wage issue.
Employer: If you pull this client in, you will get a bonus
You: And what kind of bonus is that bonus?
Employer: I think a bonus of 5 figures would be coming your way.
You: Is there anything else about that bonus?
This applies to your home life as well. See below:
Spouse: I would like a romantic night out
You: What kind of romantic?”
How you deliver these questions will play an important role, which we’ll need the late night DJ voice.
2. The Jedi Mind Trick
Chris Vogler was the former FBI Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator. In his book “Never Split The Difference” he suggests a late night DJ voice. In addition, his Jedi Mind Trick is to use mirroring, to repeat the last 1- 3 words that were just said to you, with an upwards inflection.
This works in the same way as clean language and NLP because it guides the person into communicating more clearly by making sure you’re both speaking a similar language. It accepts that when other people uses words, they don’t necessarily have the same meaning that you attribute to them. This is especially true in a global marketplace where English might be someone’s second, third, or fourth language.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato
We talk of people having a train of thought, and yet do all we can to derail it by using different words, and by diverting the conversation in different directions.
You can combine all of the above techniques to help see what is at the end of those tracks. This will lead to improved communication, rapport, and a deeper level of understanding. The upside is tremendous.