This is a guest post by Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC
Most content that centers around communication and conflict resolution has to do with assessing your feelings, your body language, your decision-making process, your attitudes, and your behaviors. Not that these are bad recommendations, but they fall short of what makes the biggest impact when resolving conflict and negotiating. Where most advice falls short is that the advice focuses on YOU, YOUR feelings, YOUR body language, YOUR decision-making, YOUR attitude, and YOUR behaviors.
Many of you have heard the saying, “God gave you one mouth and two ears. He intended for you to listen twice as much as you speak.” Ears are the gateways to receiving critical information about your environment. Ears collect sound waves. During conflict or negotiation, ears are data gathering reservoirs collecting what is coming out of the other person’s mouth. Ears are your strongest weapons in resolving conflict and negotiating a solution.
To be fair, your ears are only the front-end of a process that leads to great conflict resolution and negotiation. But if you cannot get the front-end of that process right, nothing else in that process will work. Therefore, ears are where you begin.
When you focus on opening your ears, closing your mouth, and focusing on the other person, several key dynamics are put in motion: