Business is essentially about realizing profits and the power to convey to others what we know needs to be done in order to achieve success. Effective communication is not optional; it’s a mandate for success. When done well, it becomes natural and comfortable for both speaker and listener.
Being “right” is not always the goal. Being “right” in the narrow-minded sense is often a perspective that is tainted by our own unique and selfish viewpoint, blocking out what others see and have to say about whatever it is we happen to be focusing on. As the renowned historian Arnold Toynbee put it in his essay I Agree with a Pagan, “Trying to do right does mean fighting oneself, because…each of us feels and behaves as if he were the center and the purpose of the universe. But I do feel sure that I am not that, and that, in behaving as if I were, I am going wrong.” We all see the world-what appears “right”-from our own personal center. Being mindful of this puts that center into more objective focus, closer to that of others, where it is much more likely to be accurate.
The goal of connecting with others is communication, with the end point being the success of the business enterprise, but not at the expense of integrity, ethics, and even our deepest sensibilities that transcend being defensively “right”. There is something deep within each of our souls that resonates with what is ultimately considered right when looked at over the long run from an organizational perspective.
Soul and substance are equally important; we need to capture both in our work. This skill involves using our “brainpower” to engage authentic feelings to express them. The rest follows naturally, according to the latest neuroscience research.
It is one thing to talk about how personalities and their thinking affect others. It’s another to be able to point to concrete aspects of what happens inside the brains of such individuals as well as to the brains of those they influence. Once you have a grasp of what makes people tick, you will find it much easier to positively influence those around you to help achieve your organization goals.
To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).