It always amazes me how two people can view the exact same situation in completely different ways. Before I begin a mediation or relationship coaching session, I always meet with each person individually to hear their own viewpoint. I want to learn more about their reality and better understand their perspective. What’s fascinating is that what each person shares with me always makes sense to them and it’s hard to believe that they are each describing the same situation.
As we approach the holiday season, a high time for social interaction, I want to share with you the concept of “double clicking”. This tool, which comes from Judith Glaser’s course on Conversational Intelligence, can help you create stronger relationships.
What is “double clicking”?
One of the things that happen in relationships with others—either at work or at home—is that we tend to make assumptions. Most of us do it, yet we often don’t realize it. Pay more attention during your week and see if you find yourself thinking:
“I don’t need to explain it, he knows what I mean.” Or “She should know what she is suppose to do.” Or even, “I wonder why he did that? Doesn’t he know better?”
This is where “double clicking” comes into play. Think of it like Googling something on the Internet. First, you find what you are looking for and then you click on it again to learn more. If you truly want to understand something, you will keep reading—and possibly clicking—until you fully understand. The same applies to our personal and professional relationships. We need to keep “clicking” until we fully understand—and the other person also understands us.
To fully understand each other, we need to be super curious. We need to ask questions. Stop yourself from just making assumptions. Never assume the other person knows what you mean without asking them first. Check in with them. You will undoubtedly be surprised by what more you can learn by “double clicking”, especially in those relationships that are important to you.
Some useful questions to try:
“What do you mean when you say….?”
“What made you feel that way?”
“What I am hearing you say….”
“What is important to you?”
“What support do you need?”
“I am curious about….”
Consider these options at your next meeting, social event or during a conversation with a loved one. Be more curious. Ask more questions. Learn about the other person’s perspective. It doesn’t take long, but it is within our control and can make a big impact on our relationships.
Let me know how it goes.