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What I’m hearing is… Do I have that right? – Leadership | Coaching | Life

Dominic sitting in front of a low bookshelf with LED lights. Floating text over image with title of post.

We all know that words matter. Whether that’s in person, in a video chat, or in a text, the words we choose matter. But sometimes what we mean and what is heard are two different things. As a leader it is our job to make sure we are absorbing and sharing information so that everyone is on the same page.

This is why I love to use “What I’m hearing is…” and restate the topic. Then ask, “Do I have that right?”

Do I have that right? | Transcript

This transcript was created using speech-to-text and lightly edited by a human. Errors may still exist.

We all know that words matter whether that’s in person in a video chat in a text, whatever it is, we know that words matter. And for me in marketing, I think about that a lot and how I’m communicating with customers. But something that we forget about is how we communicate with each other, in particular with a team, or with a if you’re in a leadership role, that people who work for you and how your words are perceived, and how they are interpreted. And that goes both ways when someone’s giving you information, how you perceive and interpret, and infer what it is that they’re trying to tell you.

And that can be dangerous, right? We find ourselves in a situation where we hear or read what someone is saying, and immediately get angry or upset or frustrated, or confused. Because at the time, we’re trying to infer what the other person is trying to say, what is it that they are actually saying versus the words that I heard or saw them say, and that gets us into a trap, because then we’re trying to interpret what another person is saying, but in filling in the gaps, with words that they didn’t say.

And now there’s absolutely a space, especially as someone who does a lot of copywriting that we try to pass along information in words that we didn’t say, as well as the words that we did say, when it comes to being a leader that really matters. And I’ve run into some scenarios recently, where I’ve had that type of interaction, where I was working with someone who’s a client, they were telling me something on how they wanted to run their business and the the the marketing that they wanted to do to their customers. And what I kept hearing was something different than what he was actually saying, because I was filling in the gaps in my mind of the information that was missing from what he was saying. And that’s a tendency that we all have, we all look at information in data the same way, which is if it’s left unsaid, then that means that it’s up to the other person, they fill it in with their own imagination, if they’re missing information, they’re going to fill in the information themselves.

And so what I’ve been using a lot recently is one of my absolute favorite ways to handle these types of discussions and actually use it all the time. Even if I think I’m 100% on the same page with the person. As I say, I think what I’m hearing is, and then restate back to them, in my own words, what it is, I think that they’re saying, and then finish it off with Do I have that right? I think what I’m hearing is, you would like me to do X, Y and Z, am I hearing that right? And you would be really, really surprised at how frequently when you do that the other person, especially if you’re not on the same page, hears that and says, No, I’m sorry, you have that wrong, this is what I mean. And that’s on you, you’re just interpreting it wrong, because you are filtering what they were saying through your own biases. Or they realize that they presented the information wrong. Sorry, listen, I led you down the wrong path. Allow me to restate that.

And this is really, really powerful as a leader and also talking to someone who is your leader, someone who’s your manager, because if they’re passing information to you, and you feel that you feel that immediate anger or frustration, I can’t believe they just said that, or they went a route that I told them not to do, or that they’re making a decision that I know that is bad. If you restate that to them, Hey, I think I heard this, do I have that right? You’d be surprised at how frequently it was misinterpreted, or was misrepresented. And when you do that, you have an opportunity to communicate on an entirely new level. And build that trust way, way stronger. After bring, bringing that up, instead of letting it slide letting it fester, letting yourself get all worked up about it. Because you find yourself in that scenario a lot, right? And then later only to find out that actually meant something else. And then you spent all that time being upset and angry or frustrated or sad about what it is that you heard. It is way better to get it out there in the very beginning to say Wait, timeout. I think what I heard was this, do I have that right?

And that saying is so, so powerful, because it doesn’t just work when you’re receiving information. If you’re a leader, you can also make sure that you pass the information correctly to your team. You can ask them, okay, hey, I would like you to repeat back to me what I said in your own words how you interpreted what I was talking about. Now it gets a little tricky, because you definitely don’t want to come off as being condescending. So you have to figure out a different way to be able to phrase that. But you will ask them, can you rephrase that to me on how you heard that? What do you think i mean by that? If you were to go do this, how would you proceed based on the information that I gave you? And if they repeat back to you something that was not what you were intending, you know you need to pause, restate what you’re doing and make sure it’s you’re both on the same page. And it’s so so critical that the communication goes both ways, and that we are both on the same page. And we both understand things the same way. And then we can get real good work done.

So that’s one of my favorite absolute favorite phrases to use did I hear this, right. restate it. How does that sound to you? Do I have that right? ask that question and see what the response is to that. This is, by the way, this is my second favorite thing to do as a leader to make sure that we’re on the same page. The first one is scaling. Now, that’s a totally different topic to talk about a different time. I encourage you to look that one up before we get to that video.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and using that phrase. So to hear that right. What I heard was, like, did I have that right? I don’t hear you reuse that phrase on me on what you heard from this video. And I’d love to see those in the comments below wherever you’re watching this. That’s what I got this time. Bye pals.

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