People perceive things the way they want them to be. So how can information be communicated to get others to consider and understand the true meaning of what is occurring?
A useful example comes from cricket great Shane Warne, who recounted the advice he received from media mogul Kerry Packer.
Shane Warne recalled, “I remember the first thing Kerry Packer ever said to me when the commentary stuff got up: ‘Son, don’t treat me like a dummy. We cricket fans love cricket. I can see the TV, the pictures and what’s happening. Please don’t patronise me and tell me what I’ve seen. Tell me why it’s happening.’ Packer also referred to not being able to play cricket at the highest level when he said: ‘I’ll never have a chance, son, so tell me what it’s like, so I can imagine what it would be like”.
So what can be learned for negotiators who are trying to challenge and change another person’s perception of reality?
Firstly, consider using a credible authority to help shift the other person towards a different reality.
Secondly, focus on sharing an experience that puts the emphasis on why something is done a certain way, rather than what is occurring.
Thirdly, if you want to give others additional justification to behave and act differently, then highlighting examples and precedents will help.
- Provide information based on your personal experiences and understandings
- Remember that people leave a discussion with feelings ahead of facts
- To motivate others to listen, always demonstrate empathetic behaviours