How do you deliver difficult messages, without damaging relationships?
Have you ever tried to discuss something challenging with an audit client, and you get some type of condescending behavior or response?
Did the conversation just not go as you had expected?
Have you, unintentionally, disrupted a key relationship because you just didn’t see eye to eye?
I understand. We’ve all been there.
Conversation you were used to having in person are now done virtually. If you are like most people you are still trying to figure out the best way to have these conversations with your staff and stakeholders now that we are working remotely.
There are ways to deliver difficult messages, and not damage key relationships along the way. In fact, it’s EASY when you use Intuitive Leadership, Neural Influence, and Mental Mastery skills, which is what I’m talking about in this #jammingwithjason episode.
For more on this, join me for a free one-hour discussion where we will explain exactly how to make difficult conversations more comfortable and EASY.
Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 9:00 AM PST
Field: Personal Development
CPE: 1 hour
There is limited seating for this special event and it’s filling up quickly, so register now at: https://jasonmefford.mykajabi.com/difficultconversations2020-12-08
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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jay said. I gotta get a little extra on
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Jason Mefford: This week, and it makes me laugh. So hopefully, it makes you laugh too. Hey, welcome back. My friend, we are on again. It’s a little solo episode again today.
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Jason Mefford: And before we get started into our discussion today if you’ve been a loyal listener, please share this with other people.
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Jason Mefford: Because if you’re, you know, I’m sure that you’re getting value out of this. And if you’re getting value out of this.
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Jason Mefford: Other people will get value out of the two, but they can only get value out of it. If they know that this podcast exists.
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Jason Mefford: So as I said, You know, I’m sure you’re enjoying these episodes. Please make sure and share with your friends.
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Jason Mefford: You can send them an email or a text and you can even, you know, post on social media, you can post right back to the link
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Jason Mefford: Here as well and say, hey, I’ve been listening and this is great. You know, everybody else, you should listen to and just help me by spreading the word and getting
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Jason Mefford: More out there so that we can help more people because that’s really why I show up and do this.
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Jason Mefford: You know, we’re up to two episodes a week right now. And that’s, that’s my goal is to help people in their life. So the more you share, the more we can help.
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Jason Mefford: Now today we’re going to talk about difficult conversations. And there’s a couple reasons for that, you know, towards the end of the year. A lot of times its annual review time
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Jason Mefford: And if that means that you are a leader of other people. You may have to give them a performance review and and sometimes those are some difficult conversations
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Jason Mefford: But we’re going to get into that more in today’s episode I’m going to go through and talk a little bit about why this has been such a big focus for me right now.
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Jason Mefford: And why I think it’s so important that we start thinking about thinking about these and doing some things a little bit different.
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Jason Mefford: So that conversations don’t become difficult or if they start to become difficult that we can move them back to where they’re not difficult, as well. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Now I’ll remind you, at the end, but I wanted to at the beginning as well. This next week on December 8 i’m actually going into more depth on this. I’m doing a one hour free webinar.
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Jason Mefford: And so check the show notes, wherever you’re listening, whether it’s it’s on one of the podcast listeners or on the website. You should see the link
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Jason Mefford: In the show notes to be able to register for that free webinar that I’m doing next week where I’m getting deeper into this topic.
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Jason Mefford: And I’m going to share more with you than what I can on a shorter podcast episode like today. So again, just as a reminder, I’ll try to remind you again at the end of the episode.
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Jason Mefford: But you can sign up for that free webinar on December 8 just look in the show notes. There will be a link for you to be able to get to the registration page. Okay, so with that I wanted to just kind of start off here actually asking you a few questions. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Have you ever tried to discuss something challenging with an audit client and you get some type of condescending behavior or response. Have you ever done that.
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Jason Mefford: You know, have you had conversations that just didn’t go as you had expected.
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Jason Mefford: And, you know, have you unintentionally may be disrupted or damage to key relationship because you didn’t see eye to eye with the other person and the conversation just went sideways.
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Jason Mefford: And all of a sudden there was a relationship crisis. Okay, now I understand because we’ve all been there, right, we’ve all had
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Jason Mefford: Conversations that afterwards we walk away and are like What the fuck just happened right i mean it’s like that was totally not what I was expecting. That was not what I was intending
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Jason Mefford: How did we ever actually get to that point in the conversation. And, you know, because the thing is, I mean, we have conversations with other human beings, all the time. And most of the time they’re not difficult.
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Jason Mefford: You know, but sometimes conversations become difficult or sometimes we have to deliver difficult messages as part of the conversation.
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Jason Mefford: And so again, if you’re an internal audit or if you’re a leader you know sometimes you do have to deliver difficult messages.
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Jason Mefford: You know, if you’re giving somebody a performance review, they just aren’t meeting expectations, you’re going to have to tell them that you’re going to have to be honest with that and deliver that message.
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Jason Mefford: But how do you deliver that difficult messages without damaging those relationships. Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today on the podcast. And like I said,
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Jason Mefford: I’m getting deeper into that on the webinar on December 8 so make sure and join me for that. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: So why is this a big deal right now. And why am I, why am I spending time actually talking about this today instead of something else. Well, I’ve been seeing some things happening for a while and
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Jason Mefford: Has just sped things up. Okay. We were already moving in this direction, but really through all of
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Jason Mefford: We found ourselves in a much more remote work environment. And so what does that mean well you know sometimes we have
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Jason Mefford: kind of gotten used to or been comfortable having some of these conversations when we’re face to face, you know, two humans in the same room together.
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Jason Mefford: You know, we kind of learned how to do that. And now all of a sudden that we’re in a remote work environment.
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Jason Mefford: Some of those things that we could do when we were in person. Some of them still work. But some of them don’t. Right. And so, you know, how do we kind of modify or change what we’re doing.
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Jason Mefford: Especially when we have to deliver difficult messages okay you know another thing is, and we’ve been seeing this for a while but you know employees and people in general are becoming more emotionally intelligent they are they are
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Jason Mefford: Much more in tune with their emotions, realizing that other people have emotions. People are talking more about it.
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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, a lot of the traditional command and control military kind of leadership just doesn’t work today. It’s a broken model. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Because people just don’t put up with that anymore. And you’ve seen some evidence of that for a while, you know, people
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Jason Mefford: especially younger generations, right, the older people, not that I’m getting older, but the older people like me.
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Jason Mefford: or older, you know, sometimes sit there and go, oh, you know, these, these young people, they’re just they’re just so emotional
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Jason Mefford: You know, they would they want to be kind of babies and things like that. Right. Different words that people throw out there.
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Jason Mefford: But when you peel back a lot of the layers. They just want to be treated like a human being. Okay, instead of a command and control, kind of, well, I’m the boss.
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Jason Mefford: You know I’m big your little I’m smart. You’re dumb. You know, I’m the boss. You’re the employees. So you’ve got to do what I tell you to do.
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Jason Mefford: That doesn’t work anymore. And I’m here to tell you, even if it’s still working for you. It ain’t gonna be working for you. Much longer because people just don’t put up with that.
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Jason Mefford: And so that’s another one of the reasons why we’re talking more about this.
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Jason Mefford: Now, the other thing is, especially you know in in this profession of internal auditing are those of you may be there listening that are in more of an analytical role.
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Jason Mefford: I’m going to tell you something that nobody’s probably told you before, but you think too much and you hear that, yes, think too much.
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Jason Mefford: Because the problem is is we get taught to be analytical, we believe that we can think our way out of problems, but we can’t do that.
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Jason Mefford: Right. In fact, the answers usually come from our heart, not from our head and our heart is feeling and our brain is thinking, right. So usually you pose a question in your brain.
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Jason Mefford: And where do you end up getting the answer in your heart. And that’s why I’m talking more about intuitive leadership that we’ll, we’ll get into a little bit more
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Jason Mefford: Maybe not miss episode but in, you know, I’m going to keep talking about it because it is important. Now let’s get in here. First, and just talk about you know some of the mistakes.
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Jason Mefford: That I see people making. And like I said, the these are some of the things that end up making conversations turn out to be difficult.
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Jason Mefford: The first one is, you know, a lot of times in conversations we want to tell people what to do, instead of using questions. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: And I don’t know if you’re like me, but I don’t really like being told what to do, even if it’s the boss or somebody else telling me.
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Jason Mefford: I would much rather come to the conclusion on my own. And so what that means is as a leader you need to get comfortable and learn, you know, kind of
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Jason Mefford: Through through some of this intuitive leadership and neural influence on how to actually ask better questions to move people and get the things done that you that you want to do.
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Jason Mefford: Because, again, a conversation can become difficult, very quickly when you start telling the other person what to do and they start digging in their heels. They start becoming defensive
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Jason Mefford: You know, maybe feel like you’re being condescending to them. And so they’re going to be condescending back to you. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Another thing that I see often is people being inflexible. Now, you know, I’m sure you might be saying, well, I don’t do that.
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Jason Mefford: But again, especially an internal audit. A lot of times I see people
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Jason Mefford: telling people what to do and that there’s only one way to do it. There’s no compromise. This is the way we have to be have to do it. And in order to be ethical
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Jason Mefford: And a lot of people will stand up on that ethical high horse and try to say, nope, nope, nope. This is the way it has to be, it has to be this way. There’s no other way.
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Jason Mefford: And again, that’s that black and white thinking that we get trained and taught to do the world is not black and white, as far as I can tell there’s millions of colors out there.
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Jason Mefford: And so if you go around trying to be inflexible seeing things as black and white, and we have to do things my way your conversations are going to turn difficult. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Another one that I see often is people not actually developing the relationship before they have the conversation.
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Jason Mefford: So, you know, again, they just pop into somebody and they start asking for something or start telling them something
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Jason Mefford: So again, let’s just let’s just do some crazy, crazy scenarios. Right. But I’m sure if you’re like me, some of these things have actually happened to you. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: So I’ve literally been at places like the grocery store just minding my own business, right.
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Jason Mefford: Getting the getting the things that I need to shopping in the store and some random stranger that I have never met before.
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Jason Mefford: Comes up and starts commenting or telling me or suggesting that I should do something different or that I handled some situation wrong. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Now if some random stranger comes up to you and starts talking to you and telling you that you need to change or you need to do something different.
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Jason Mefford: What’s going to be your reaction. Well, it’s going to be one of defensiveness, right, like, who the hell are you and why are you actually, you know, trying to tell me what to do. I don’t know you from Adam
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Jason Mefford: Why are you here and why are you talking to me. And so again, sometimes the conversations that we have. If we, you know, don’t have a relationship or if we haven’t
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Jason Mefford: Developed that and I’ll give you a tip on doing that here in just a minute. But if we don’t have that relationship.
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Jason Mefford: Then, of course, the message is going to be received with defensiveness. Okay. Now, again, if, if, let’s say instead of some random stranger.
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Jason Mefford: If it was my best friend that I’ve known since I was a kid and he came up to me and delivered exactly the same message as that stranger did
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Jason Mefford: I would not react the same way why cuz he’s got credibility with me. We’ve got history we’ve got a relationship. And so that’s why, you know, even when people say things that are hurtful to you.
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Jason Mefford: If they’re a complete stranger. You just write them out of your life. But if it’s somebody that you love if it’s somebody that you’ve had a relationship with
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Jason Mefford: You know, you give them some of the benefit of the doubt and that one conversation doesn’t necessarily cause a relationship crisis.
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Jason Mefford: And so that’s why, again, it’s so important that we actually develop relationships. Before we have some of these conversations
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Jason Mefford: And again, in the podcast format. I’m not going to be able to kind of get through and tell you how to do everything. We’re going to talk more about about that on the webinar.
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Jason Mefford: And I’ll point you to some other things to be able to help you there but but those are some of the mistakes that I commonly see people making. Okay, so what can we do or how can how can we do this different and especially in a remote environment. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: Well, the first thing is
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Jason Mefford: To choose the right medium. Okay. Now what does that mean, what is, what are you talking about by a medium that is the communication medium that we choose to use. Okay.
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Jason Mefford: We there’s lots of different ways that we can that we can do that and the mediums are kind of how the communication is received. So, for example, an email is a medium of communication.
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Jason Mefford: A telephone call is a medium of communication. You know, so are things like a handwritten letter, you know, something that’s hand written as opposed to like an email that’s typed. We have text messages we have you know slack and other kind of instant messaging.
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Jason Mefford: Things. We’ve got, you know, besides text messages we actually have voice texts you know that you can actually send somebody effectively like a little voicemail.
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Jason Mefford: Through their text or I think Facebook is doing that and some other ones like that are doing it as well. So that’s a different medium. Again, right, or we can have a video call right where we’re actually seeing each other on the screen.
00:16:18.120 –> 00:16:34.620
Jason Mefford: And so again, you know, even if we can’t be face to face. There are different of these mediums that we can use. And depending on the message that we’re delivering or the type of conversation that you’re actually doing.
00:16:35.310 –> 00:16:48.480
Jason Mefford: You need to pick the medium that matches the message that you’re delivering and what I’ll tell you just kind of one rule of thumb is the more important or
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Jason Mefford: critical to understanding of the conversation, that is, the more in person, it should be.
00:16:57.750 –> 00:17:08.730
Jason Mefford: So as an example, you know, if you’re giving somebody a performance review. Ideally, we would like to do that in person, you know, human to human in the same room.
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Jason Mefford: Now in a virtual environment. We can’t do that. And so what is the next best medium to use, it’s probably going to be video call because that way we can actually see the person as well.
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Jason Mefford: And it’s so important. The more important. The conversation is the more you want to see the other person.
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Jason Mefford: And the reason for that is you know study done by UCLA. A LONG TIME AGO ONLY ABOUT 7% seven what you know seven 7% of communication are the words.
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Jason Mefford: 93% of the conversation and the communication is other things. It’s your tone of voice right it is your body language. It is a lot of these other things that we need to be considering as well.
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Jason Mefford: And so that’s why you know as an example. You’ve probably done this, too, right where you’ve been, maybe texting or messaging back and forth with somebody
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Jason Mefford: You make some sarcastic comment that’s meant to be a joke, but the other person is offended.
00:18:23.040 –> 00:18:34.950
Jason Mefford: Why, because all they saw were the words they didn’t see you. Laughing As you said it, you know, again, if they had seen your face when you said those same words.
00:18:35.400 –> 00:18:50.460
Jason Mefford: They would have realized that that it was sarcasm that you were that you were trying to be funny, but because they don’t see that they don’t understand it. Okay, so one of the things is try to choose the right medium.
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Jason Mefford: Now the second thing that I want to talk to you about today is what I call making deposits. And so this goes back to the mistake that most people make, which is they don’t really establish or develop the relationship beforehand.
00:19:04.560 –> 00:19:13.290
Jason Mefford: They just start talking to people. Well, you can make deposits, you think, think of every interaction that you have with other people.
00:19:13.680 –> 00:19:27.000
Jason Mefford: As either being a deposit or a withdraw to that relationship. Okay. And so there’s a concept like I don’t know who coined it exactly, but I’ve heard it for many years, called
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Jason Mefford: The emotional bank account that I like to use. And so the way you can think about this as every interaction you have
00:19:36.150 –> 00:19:47.670
Jason Mefford: With another human being is either making a deposit. You know, so, so, lifting or raising the balance of your relationship building up your relationship.
00:19:48.180 –> 00:19:57.450
Jason Mefford: Or it is a withdraw and pulling down the balance in your relationship. Okay. And so that’s why again.
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Jason Mefford: Like I talked about before with the example. If it’s one of my best childhood friends. Well, he’s going to have to do a lot of stuff.
00:20:06.150 –> 00:20:10.440
Jason Mefford: Before that relationship is effectively bankrupt, right, because
00:20:10.980 –> 00:20:26.850
Jason Mefford: Over the years, we’ve made deposits with each other in our relationship. So even if he does something that pisses me off. It’s going to take away a little bit from the relationship, but it’s not going to put it in the negative or overdraft position.
00:20:27.930 –> 00:20:38.520
Jason Mefford: That’s why again when somebody you know a complete stranger comes up to you in the grocery store and starts going off, they’ve taken a withdrawal out of her relationship bank account.
00:20:38.940 –> 00:20:51.840
Jason Mefford: That started with zero because you had no relationship with them so obviously your first interaction. If it’s negative is going to bankrupt that account and that’s why you get defensive. That’s why you push back.
00:20:52.680 –> 00:21:02.550
Jason Mefford: So again, you know, with people that you’re communicating with, you know, what are you doing to make those deposits into the emotional bank account.
00:21:03.390 –> 00:21:09.990
Jason Mefford: Now the last one that I just kind of wanted to share with you today. And again, we don’t have a lot of time to get into this
00:21:10.590 –> 00:21:21.060
Jason Mefford: On the podcast but kind of want to share with you a what to be able to do. And then if you’re, you know, if you want more come over to the webinar on December 8
00:21:21.420 –> 00:21:33.960
Jason Mefford: And again, the link is down below and I’ll share with you there, a little bit more about how to do this and how you can actually get resources to support you along the way.
00:21:34.350 –> 00:21:42.690
Jason Mefford: Because this is also something that you know you can’t just listen to one podcast or go to one webinar and all of a sudden
00:21:43.080 –> 00:21:54.750
Jason Mefford: You have this down to where none of your conversations end up being difficult ever again. There’s a lot of things that you have to do and practice and a lot of things to be able to learn
00:21:55.260 –> 00:22:04.260
Jason Mefford: But you can do it, you can learn them these things usually people don’t talk about it. But I’m here to share with people because I want your life to be better.
00:22:05.910 –> 00:22:17.400
Jason Mefford: So the last one that I wanted to talk about today is about using rapport. Now in internal audit you know a lot of people that talk about kind of
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Jason Mefford: You know, if you if you hadn’t training on interviewing skills as an example. One of the things that they’ll put in there, as they say, you know, start off in building rapport.
00:22:28.290 –> 00:22:34.200
Jason Mefford: Now the problem is the people that usually teach those things only understand about a half an inch
00:22:34.680 –> 00:22:42.390
Jason Mefford: Of what rapport actually is. So usually what they’ll tell you is you know you you walk into somebody’s office.
00:22:43.260 –> 00:22:52.530
Jason Mefford: And you want to build rapport with them before you start the interview. So you look around their office, you try to see what’s what’s there.
00:22:53.040 –> 00:23:08.460
Jason Mefford: And you make some comment right like like again, you know, if you’re watching the video on this, you can see, you know, back over here. I’ve got a little Rodin statue called the thinker. Okay, bye bye Rodin
00:23:09.000 –> 00:23:28.560
Jason Mefford: And if you’re familiar with that piece of art, then you might look at that and go, oh, I see that you have Rodin’s thinker on on in your office here, you know, tell me about why, why do you have that, you know, I, or, or, Hey, you know, I saw that at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Right.
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Jason Mefford: Trying to remember which one it’s the one of them isn’t in San Francisco ones down here in in the LA area to that I saw as well. But anyway, I digress. I digress.
00:23:39.840 –> 00:23:59.460
Jason Mefford: But I could bring that up. Right. And all of a sudden see that that’s interaction is now starting to make a deposit in that relationship because it’s showing that, Hey, you like Rodin I like Rodin we have something in common. Therefore, you’re making a deposit right
00:24:00.570 –> 00:24:13.500
Jason Mefford: And again, as I said, most of the people in the Internal Audit space when they talk about rapport. That’s really all they talk about their like make chit chat for a minute on something that looks like you have in common, and then
00:24:14.010 –> 00:24:23.880
Jason Mefford: Get going into the interview, baby. You know, start asking the questions get what you need. That is just the very, very surface level of rapport.
00:24:24.390 –> 00:24:37.530
Jason Mefford: In fact there’s a whole psychology behind it. And that’s one of the reasons why I talk about neural influence on how to actually use rapport skills psychology
00:24:37.830 –> 00:24:50.880
Jason Mefford: Neuro linguistic programming and the principles of influence on how to actually develop rapport and use rapport, as you’re talking to people. Okay.
00:24:51.270 –> 00:25:00.480
Jason Mefford: And it’s, it’s in the way that you move the way that you use your body. It’s the way that you actually phrase certain things.
00:25:01.230 –> 00:25:05.160
Jason Mefford: Because there’s a whole bunch of things behind it like key, key word backtracking.
00:25:06.000 –> 00:25:18.750
Jason Mefford: And some other things like that that that once you understand those skills and you have more than the surface level, it makes it very easy for you to have a conversation with anybody.
00:25:19.230 –> 00:25:33.990
Jason Mefford: Even when the conversation starts to go difficult you’re able to bring people back to where they need to be so that the conversation just doesn’t go off the rails and at the end of it you walk away going, holy crap what just happened right
00:25:35.610 –> 00:25:43.620
Jason Mefford: And so like I said, there’s, there’s a whole bunch of stuff behind that. You know how you paste people you pay some along and then you lead
00:25:43.920 –> 00:25:54.510
Jason Mefford: And then you lead them to a certain place, and the way that you asked questions and the way that you hold your body and the way that you use your voice, the speed of your voice.
00:25:55.140 –> 00:26:12.390
Jason Mefford: The intonation of it. The words that you’re actually using the order in which you’re actually using those words. And when you really understand that and understand the ideas behind rapport and what’s really involved in having these neural influence skills.
00:26:13.470 –> 00:26:21.870
Jason Mefford: You can pretty much have a conversation with anybody and move the conversation to wherever you want it to go. It’s pretty amazing. Okay.
00:26:22.590 –> 00:26:31.950
Jason Mefford: So that’s another of the things that you can start working on now, again, you know, I’m sure that some of you are saying, Behold, I don’t really know what those things are.
00:26:32.310 –> 00:26:39.870
Jason Mefford: Well don’t worry, I’m going to tell you about them, right. This is just a kind of a, an order at the beginning of it to just kind of let you know.
00:26:40.470 –> 00:26:50.250
Jason Mefford: That these things are there. And the problem is, like I said, most people are not talking about this. And so I want to start talking about it for you because it’ll make your life.
00:26:50.640 –> 00:27:01.410
Jason Mefford: A lot easier, both at work as well as in your personal relationships as well. Okay, so make sure, again, you know, join me. Join me on that webinar.
00:27:01.980 –> 00:27:13.710
Jason Mefford: I’ll go into a little bit more depth on this and then I’ll also share with you how you can actually start developing these skills and make your life, way, way easier.
00:27:14.190 –> 00:27:20.400
Jason Mefford: Because I’m telling you, you know, as we wrap up for today. You know, we have conversations with people every day.
00:27:20.970 –> 00:27:28.410
Jason Mefford: And most of those conversations are just fine. They go you know exactly the way that we were intending for him to go and it was just fine.
00:27:28.800 –> 00:27:36.270
Jason Mefford: Sometimes those conversations end up becoming difficult, especially if there’s a difficult message that we have to deliver
00:27:36.630 –> 00:27:48.600
Jason Mefford: Or if we do something to kind of screw it up right because sometimes that ends up happening or maybe the other person does something to start screwing it up and we don’t know how to respond. And so it just goes off the rails.
00:27:49.110 –> 00:28:04.680
Jason Mefford: But I’m here to tell you that, you know, again, difficult conversations can actually be easy when you understand intuitive leadership neural influence and you have mental mastery skills around that.
00:28:06.930 –> 00:28:08.400
Jason Mefford: It can actually be quite easy.
00:28:09.660 –> 00:28:12.180
Jason Mefford: You just have to learn how to do it. Okay.
00:28:13.410 –> 00:28:23.130
Jason Mefford: And so again, I don’t have time to get into any more depth. Today I’ll be talking more about this on the podcast but again if you want more information, make sure to join me on that webinar.
00:28:23.700 –> 00:28:31.620
Jason Mefford: And follow some of the other stuff that I’m doing because I’m going to share with you you know more about how to actually do some of this stuff.
00:28:32.190 –> 00:28:33.930
Jason Mefford: Right. So again, if you’re sitting there going, hold it.
00:28:34.800 –> 00:28:45.990
Jason Mefford: You know, you’re talking about communication medium. I didn’t even write down what they were are trying to figure out which one is the right one. Well, don’t worry, I’ll tell you that there’s, there’s, there’s ways to do that same thing with report.
00:28:47.070 –> 00:28:55.650
Jason Mefford: I’m here to actually share that with you so that your life can be better as well. So without my friend. I am going to sign off.
00:28:56.430 –> 00:29:11.010
Jason Mefford: For this episode. And again, make sure and share this with other people that you know would also benefit from it and I’ll catch you on the next episode of jam with Jason. Have a great rest of your week. See ya.