When you start out in life, just get out of school, and are out there pounding the pavement for that first job or trying to make that first sales call, more often than not you’re carrying around a mental model that says: “To pull this off, I need to get my point across effectively. I need to convince the person I’m meeting with that _________” (they should hire me; they should buy this product; they should give to my organization.) In service of this goal, you execute your plan of where the meeting is going to go, you get your points across, and you do most of the talking.
Why not? It’s what you’ve been trained to do. It’s a Quadrant 2 approach. And it often doesn’t work.
About 10 years ago, right before I headed into a job interview, my wife said to me, “Make sure you give THEM time to talk too.” Novel. In the first of the three interviews I had that day, meeting with a garrulous, extroverted Vice President, I spoke for about 5 minutes of the one hour interview. And I got the job.
Most high-achieving Type A folks need to move to the left.
And all of us need to figure out in which quadrant we are most comfortable, and to figure out how to get better at switching from one to another depending on the person we’re meeting and the relationship we’re trying to build.