How do you tell somebody, anybody something they don’t want to hear? What do you do when you have delivered a key message and it’s clear the message hasn’t gotten through to the heart and mind? Is there an approach that works? Do you know a technique? Has anyone accessed a tool?
Recently I was asked to present a subject. The audience making the request didn’t really want to hear but they thought it was the right request to make. The fact that I had already made this presentation on five separate occasions was a message in itself that wasn’t lost on me with this new request. I know the message is tough. I understand how difficult it is for the audience to understand because if they understand change is required. I can sense their reluctance, fear, and doubts. Yet the request for the sixth message was on the table. What was I going to say?
Let me share the observations I gave to them with you, slightly paraphrased.
1. It takes two people to have a conversation, this includes presentation. If you are not prepared to listen, to engage on the subject, then there is no point in the presentation.
2. Presentations have a purpose. Do you understand the purpose of the presentation you are asking for? Are you prepared to accept your role and responsibility in this presentation? It you are not sure let me help you understand how I see you role; engaged listening, proactive response, and affirmative action.
3. Hearing something that is different always comes back to the relationship the listener has with the speaker. The usual question applies here; do I trust? The blunt question is simply this; do you?
Divinity had a tough message; “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave.” (John 8.34) I wonder if I am prepared, ready to play my role, and trusting. I wonder if I am any more open than my audience was. I pray…
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