Julian’s Business Tips: It’ll all come out in the wash

Julian’s Business Tips: It’ll All Come Out in the Wash

I’ve been on a mental health course today, and the last session was really interesting (I’m scribbling this in the lunch break to share it with you).

It was about how to talk to others who need to talk about a problem, because most people, especially middle-aged men, are not very good at listening (I know, right?)

And it’s a technique you can use with anyone; your staff, your kids or your partner – try it and let me know how you get on.

Think of a washing machine, there are three phases to the cycle: pre-wash, main wash and rinse & spin. Your conversation should be the same – pre-wash where you identify the problem, the main wash where you dig down into the specifics (‘where the dirt comes out’) and rinse and spin cycle is where you provide any help and guidance

A lot of us like to have the answers to problems, we like to (try and) fix things, so we tend
to go straight from pre-wash to rinse and spin – we listen for a bit, make a snap judgement and then drop straight into ‘fixer mode’ and tell them what they need to do.

Or worse still, we hijack the conversation by telling them about a time that that thing happened to us. Either way, we stop listening.

The main wash is the most important part of your cycle. Spend time here to find out the details, before coming to any conclusions.

To help you get to those details, remember ‘DET’ (as in DETergent) in your main wash: begin your information gathering sentences with these three great beginnings: ‘Describe…’, Explain to me…’ and ‘Tell me…’ – you’ll be amazed at what comes out!

Try it – and see if you get brilliant results, time and time again!