Several times this past week I have discussed with clients the concept of ‘meeting folks where they are.’ I’ve offered this perspective often in my writings since the beginning of Alignment, Inc.
Typically, the conversation of ‘meeting folks where they are’ flows from a the sayings: ‘they just don’t get it’ or ‘they don’t think the way I do’ or ‘they simply are not responding they way I need them to.’ These heated conversations are born out of frustration, irritation, and often downright anger with the other person! Well, I get it! I have certainly been in those meetings and/or dialogues where the other person is just simply not ‘tracking’ with me; and it is frustrating!
So – what can we do?
Well, the most simple coaching tip I have is to try to meet the other person where they are.
Where are they? Are they over their head? Are they feeling out of control? Are they feeling insecure? Once we get a grip on ‘where they are’ – then we need to meet them there. Not from our perspective or position but from theirs. That is the secret. We can then embody their words, their language, their tone of voice, their tenor – and bridge where we are with where they are. They will hear us more clearly and understand us more fully, when we speak to them in their language – figuratively. We must pay attention to the unspoken signals, as well. Fear, uncertainty, instability, and lack of knowledge shows up not only in what we say, in our body language as well. There are many books, courses, and workshops on how to pay attention to these unspoken signs.
Yet, my simple coaching tip is to just pay attention to the other person. Trust your intuition. It is not about you. it is 100% about them. Meet them where they are – and our communications, relationships, and ongoing engagements will be anchored by their perspectives married to ours.