No one answers Questions

Reminder

 No One answers Questions

The words “no one” in the heading rates as too strong a term. However Readers who listen carefully to the things other people say will find it easy to observe occasions when one person asks a question and no one else in the group answers it. This point applies to both two-person and larger-group situations.
If people tend to not answer other people’s questions, consider the results of such behaviour.
Usually people who ask genuine questions need information. They want to check a particular idea or use it to make a decision or decide what next they will say to achieve their particular objective. Thus, if they do not receive an answer they have problems.
Will the other persons consider them rude if they point out that no one has answered their question? Do they continue the conversation and guess at the answer the person would have made to the question?
If they have asked a genuine question to check whether they have made sense or the person accepts a particular point, they risk wasting their time if they go on without receiving an answer.
In this situation, an introductory remark such as: “I want to ask a checking question” before asking the question should help to increase the chances that someone will answer the question.
People should also appreciate that sometimes “No one answers the question” because “No one listens”. Thus they should first try to obtain the Communication Receiver’s attention before asking a question.
In addition, warning Listeners of the importance of a question will increase the chance that another person will answer. People can use such introductory statements as: “I want to check whether you accept this point. I want to check whether I have made myself understood. I want you to answer this question because ………
Thus Communication Senders should listen carefully to the people with whom they communicate. The observations they make will help to decide the tendency for this particular group to listen or not listen and to answer, or not answer, questions.

 

 

No one listens

Reminder


No one listens

Everyone who wants to improve their communications with other people should accept the broad point — “No-one listens.”
The phrase overstates the case. Sometimes people do listen to each other but often people do not really listen to what the other person says.
People who assume that the other person does listen to what they say will find it difficult to understand how some communications can go so wrong.
They should consider just how often they get so involved in what they want to say that they simply watch for the time when the other person finishes or draws breath. Then they can have their say.
Sometimes they do not want to really hear what the other person says. If they really listened they would have to note the points sent to them by the communicator. They would have to consider them and consider altering their viewpoint or the actions they plan. Thus people do not really want to listen to other people on many occasions. In the short term they feel they will do better if they do not listen.
Few people would accept that view if put directly to them. However if Readers analyse the behaviour of other people they will find that the situation described occurs quite often. Once they accept this point they will more readily see themselves doing it also.
People talk at each other rather than exchange ideas.

Take the next obvious step

Reminder

A Subordinate receives information and/or a request from someone which they pass on to their Immediate Manager. The Manager receives the information and/or request and has to take some action to progress the matter

The Managers asks his/her Subordinate to do some particular task.

The Subordinate does it and then the Manager can get on with the next and more complex stage of the problem.

Example A Customer calls and finds a Manager out of the office. The Customer leaves a request with the Manager’s Secretary to deal with a complaint about a product. The Manager calls for a file to answer the complaint.

This situation occurs quite often in all Organisations. The system would work more smoothly and certainly with less duration-time if the Subordinate had anticipated the next stage of the process andcarried it out.

Example In the example above, the Secretary could obtain the files relevant to answering the complaint.

The above ideas suggest the following principle:

Subordinates should ask themselves what has to happen next in order to progress a matter further. If the next step rates as obvious, non-controversial and inexpensive in time and/or cost, they should consider carrying it out without waiting for a specific instruction from their immediate Manager.

 

The Sin of calling for Work by a certain time and then not dealing with it for Several Days.

Reminder

The Sin of calling for Work by a certain Time and

then not dealing with It for Several Days

How do you act when your Manager (Supervisor) asks you for some work by a certain time? Often people work hard (sometimes under pressure) and sometimes sacrifice some of their own personal objectives and triumphantly deliver the work on time.

However many people find that three or four days later nothing has happened. The completed work has sat on the Manager’s desk and the Manager has made no use of it – even  though the deadline the Manager gave has passed.

How often does this situation occur in your organisation?.

If your Manager does it to you, have you discussed this matter with your Manager? Can you help the Manager realise that, if this situation continues, it tends to destroy the desire of Subordinates to achieve deadlines in the future?

While it proves easy to see that your Manager does it to you, have you thought whether you do it to your Subordinates?

When did you last praise your Subordinate for disagreeing with you?

Reminder


When did you last praise your Subordinate for disagreeing with you?

Managers should consider whether they want their Subordinates to disagree with them.

Wise Managers will encourage Subordinates to point out errors that exist in their Managers’ thinking. This approach will help protect Managers from making errors.

Some Difficulties of encouraging Subordinates

However it often proves difficult to encourage Subordinates to disagree with their Managers.

Sometimes it proves difficult because Managers show annoyance at the disagreement and thus (by their manner) encourage their Subordinates to avoid disagreeing in the future.

Managers should appreciate that sometimes a disagreement will cause them annoyance because it will force them to think and delay something they thought they had finished.

Most people get annoyed when someone points out that they have not really thought through all the issues they think they should have.

Managers might well discuss this whole topic with their Subordinates and warn them that they should not feel depressed at such reactions.

However they also need to encourage the actions that they want their Subordinates to take. Thus, sometimes they should deliberately thank their Subordinates for disagreeing and praise them for their action. They should state clearly (again) that they want their Subordinates to disagree with them.

Do You show Your Subordinates that they have influenced Your Behaviour.

Reminder


Do You show Your Subordinates that they have influenced Your Behaviour

An important relationship between Managers and Subordinates relates to the amount of influence each person believes they have over the other. Thus do Managers believe they can influence the decisions that their Subordinates make?

Probably, if the amount of influence from both rates as high, it would help most Organisations to function better.

If Managers agree with this viewpoint they should seek opportunities for encouraging this type of relationship

They should identify ways in which the Subordinates have influenced their behaviour and make surethat the Subordinates realise that they have done so.

Subordinates who believe they can influence the decisions of their Manager will try to do so more often. This behaviour will often benefit both Manager and Subordinate.

 

 

The Wastefulness of asking “Can I ask a question”

Reminder


The Wastefulness of asking “Can i ask a question?”

Some people often use the introduction – “Can I ask a question?” – before they ask a question.

Sometimes they seem to address such a question to no one in particular. If they address it to a Meeting Chairperson or a Conference Leader invariably they do not wait for an answer. Thus, in most cases, it simply wastes the time of the meeting and its Members.

Logically it proves a very difficult question to answer because until the Chairperson or other Members know the content of the question they cannot really give an intelligent reply.

It would save time for everyone if Members assume that they can ask a question unless the meeting agrees that they will allow no more questions.

The above points suggest that Groups should agree NOT to use this question as an introduction and simply have Members ask their question.

Some people use the question because it appears the courteous thing to do. However this courtesy has no advantage once everyone accepts that no one should use it.

Similar arguments apply to the question — “Can I interrupt you?”

 

 

People act on the basis of what They receive not what Senders send

Reminder


People act on the basis of what They receive not what Senders send

Many people fail to understand other people because they forget a major communication rule: What the Sender sends, the Receiver does NOT necessarily receive.

Thus to understand people and their interrelationships Observers must give attention to what the Receiver receives – not so much to what the Sender sends.

Example. Tom sends a message to Mary but cannot understand why Mary behaves as she does. Tom tries to understand Mary’s behaviour on the basis of what he sent whereas Mary received something quite different in meaning.

Unfortunately too often people cannot think beyond what they send. They tend to say “That’s what I said and that’s what I meant. No-one else could possibly interpret it in any other way.” However the ability of humans to interpret things in a variety of ways seems almost infinite.

At different times, each of us feels very surprised at the variety of interpretations which other people give to some communications which we consider entirely clear and as having only one possible meaning. However, to avoiding getting that feeling we must accept that people do “look at things differently”.

People should give much more attention to finding out what the Receiver receives and not just believe that others will receive what they have sent.

 

 

 

People act on the basis of what They receive not what Senders send

Reminder


People act on the basis of what They receive not what Senders send

 

Many people fail to understand other people because they forget a major communication rule: What the Sender sends, the Receiver does NOT necessarily receive.

Thus to understand people and their interrelationships Observers must give attention to what the Receiver receives – not so much to what the Sender sends.

Example. Tom sends a message to Mary but cannot understand why Mary behaves as she does. Tom tries to understand Mary’s behaviour on the basis of what he sent whereas Mary received something quite different in meaning.

Unfortunately too often people cannot think beyond what they send. They tend to say “That’s what I said and that’s what I meant. No-one else could possibly interpret it in any other way.” However the ability of humans to interpret things in a variety of ways seems almost infinite.

At different times, each of us feels very surprised at the variety of interpretations which other people give to some communications which we consider entirely clear and as having only one possible meaning. However, to avoiding getting that feeling we must accept that people do “look at things differently”.

People should give much more attention to finding out what the Receiver receives and not just believe that others will receive what they have sent.

 

 

Talking too much in Selection Interviews

Reminder


Talking Too Much in Selection Interviews

 

Many Executives talk too much when conducting selection interviews. They forget that the selection interview aims to give information to Applicants – ONLY sufficient to allow Applicants to decide whether they want to continue their application.

Thus, when aiming to obtain information in a selection interview, Interviewers should talk less than (say) ten per cent of the time. They should “ask a question and shut up” and concentrate on getting the Applicant  to talk.

Why not check the items given below to see whether you fall into the trap of talking too much in a selection interview?

Interviewers should avoid:

(a) giving their own personal reminiscences

(b) discussing mutual friends

(c) giving their own personal history

(d) giving information about their Organisation – except to the extent that it allows Applicants to make a wise decision about giving more of their time. (This point applies more specifically to the first selection interview.)

(e) answering their own questions