Are You Listening To Me Or Just Hearing Me Out?
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation where something just didn’t quite click?
Maybe a miscommunication, a perplexing moment of misunderstanding, or that awkward feeling of information slipping through the cracks.
We’ve all been there, and we believe there’s a fascinating world to explore within these everyday interactions.
In this episode, we’re delving into the heart of effective communication.
Our aim is to decode the intricate dynamics that shape how we connect and communicate with each other, both personally and professionally.
We’re excited to guide you through practical strategies, share real-life anecdotes, and offer tips to enrich your communication toolkit.
By understanding the subtleties of communication, we unlock the potential for more meaningful interactions. Communication is the bridge that brings us closer to one another, fostering understanding and empathy. Together, let’s embark on this journey to master the art of connection through effective communication.
Join us as we unveil the magic of effective communication, empowering you to navigate through these common hiccups and build stronger connections in your life.
Grace and peace,
Chris LoCurto 0:10
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto Show, where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. Today, we are talking about information gaps that lead to confusion and frustration in our lives both personally and professionally,, we all experience it, we all know what it's like to have those frustrating moments when you're you're communicating with somebody, you feel like you're communicating pretty darn well, you guys have heard me talk about personality styles a ton. And we're gonna get into that that's, that's mainly what we're hitting today. But we're talking about those gaps, those gaps that lead to that frustration. And it's important for us to recognize, because I think the thing that I experienced a lot lately, and this is even with myself, I mean, I do this all the time, my job is continuously leaning in the direction of other people and helping to communicate incredibly well. But there are times that even the most simplistic communication can become frustrating because I have to take into account the personality style that I'm communicating with, and, you know, how am I communicating what's happening in my day? So I wanted to kind of run through some ways, you know, one understanding that and what can we do about that?
So if you think about it, there are scenarios of like, you know, team meetings, everybody has been in a team meeting, where somebody's not communicating well, or maybe many people are not committing kidding, well, are you somebody is trying to give direction on something, and people are struggling? There are lots of questions. There's lots of I don't understand, you know, what does this mean? What are you wanting us to do? Frustration ensues, there's also what I think is a terrible thing for any team process. And that is the folks that decide that they're not going to speak up because they feel stupid, you know, they're not going to speak up, because they don't truly understand. Or sometimes they think, well, everybody else seems to be getting it, and I should be getting it. Maybe I'll understand it here, you know, in an hour or two. So we have these times where we're in a meeting, trying to, to discuss, I don't know, direction, a project that we want to accomplish, how we're going, you know, brainstorming, how are we going to do this project. And communication can be super frustrating. And it can definitely be confusing at the very least confusing, right? I still don't understand where you want me to go. I still don't understand what my role is. And we're going to get into some of the issues with that. But one of my, it's a pet peeve, but I understand it. It's one of those frustrations that I have, as somebody who is a very high s, I understand the well, let me just hold off and not talk about that yet. Let me hold off and not, you know, ask any questions. I think the reason why it frustrates me so much is because I'm somebody who gains perspective, I don't have a problem asking what does that mean? I don't have a problem saying,
Can you explain what you just shared? I don't have a problem getting to deeper information. Now, that has not always been my life. When I was younger, I did not like to ask those questions. I didn't want to get more details. I didn't want to get more information. Because, you know, I just like so many people, I didn't want to look stupid, sound stupid, you know, feel like I should have known the answer when How could I possibly know the answer? Nobody taught me the answer in the first place. So it has become a pet peeve in my life, to see so many people like the younger version of me, that are afraid to ask. They're afraid to ask questions. They're afraid to gain quality perspective. So they don't. And then it messes with them, because then they don't have the right information. And they're not going to ask about it. And then somebody is going to come along and you know, a leader is going to come along and go, How come you're not doing the thing? And they're like, Well, I didn't know how to do and I was like, why didn't you speak up in the meeting. And it just becomes a surface level response of where we do this thing over and over and over again. And we don't make the decision to get out of that. We don't make the decision to change that. And the reason why is because we don't really understand why we're there in the first place. And all of that's going to come back to worth issues is going to come back to root system issues. And I don't I can't go into everybody's root system here today, but it's always going to point back to that.
So if it's in a team meeting, let's say it's in a planning meeting, if we're planning a project out, if we're planning dates out, I can't tell you how many times we get together. You know, once a year, we get together, and we talk through different holiday schedules and things that we have coming up over the next year. And inevitably, we get into the next year, and we go, how did we get that date wrong? Right? Sometimes there's confusion in communication, in planning things, or there is a ton of confusion, when folks are trying to do quality accountability, like let's say, k RAs, or KPIs or something, if we're not communicating really well, in that, like, let's say we're creating a query, and instead of getting to the expected results that we want, we're just putting in, you know, what sounds like really great job tasks or job descriptions, well, then it's going to be super confusing to the person when you try to hold them accountable to the expected result, but you only communicated the task. So these are just some examples of where information gaps, you know, kind of rear their ugly heads, right? So we want to shed light on the challenges that they present, we want to, we want to help with the misunderstandings that they can cause.
So that's the work aspect. But, I know nobody ever deals with this at home, right? We never as husbands and wives, we never deal with this. We never have struggles with our kids, our kids never have struggles with us. Of course, we do. Right? Of course, we struggle a lot with communication, you know, with husbands and wives, different personality styles, there are so many times that I have to remember, like my wife and I are so close that sometimes I just take for granted that I don't have to communicate fully into her personality style, because she gets me she gets so much of me. But then every now and then I will communicate something, and she won't get it. And I'm like, Why don't you understand that piece? And I have to back up and go, Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. She's in her see mode right now. So stop, man, you got to paint a bigger picture, you got to make sure that she understands everything that you're talking about, instead of just, you know this one piece over here. And if I will back up and explain the 30,000-foot view then she can get the five foot view. But what about when you're communicating with your kids? What about the you know, the dad or mom that's sitting down to do a math problem with their child? And your personality styles just clash? You know what if you're somebody who gets math super easy, super fast, and yet your child doesn't doesn't mean your child's not smart. It just means that they have to work through a process to get to that number or if your child is struggling with, you know, pressure from you, because you know, maybe you are pushing for them to get to an answer faster than their brain can process. Then what happens? Well, then we have a child that clams up, we see a lot of that we see a lot of children, whether they are young or grown adults, you know, children of have parents that struggle to communicate with their parent because their parent responds as though their child is stupid, that they're not good enough, that they're not fast enough. And so many times now, I do want to separate out the root system issues that go deeper than that word, somebody actually does want to communicate that you're not good enough. That's not what I'm talking about today. What I am talking about is the MIS understanding of personality styles and the issues that they can cause when we don't understand each other. So when we do when we do recognize how somebody gives information receives information, how somebody acts, and reacts, then we can change the way we lean in their direction. We can change the way that we provide information and praise God hallelujah. If we choose to, we can avoid a ton of conflict. It will help us to avoid so much conflict.
So as we get into this what I want to roll into next is kind of like understanding and adapting your communication as we move into that. Here's what I want you to hear. Please hear me please hear me. Please hear me. There's anything you get from this. Understand you are completely in control of how you communicate. So if you are finding yourself being frustrated with a with a conversation if you're fine Finding yourself being frustrated with leading a team member, if you're finding yourself being frustrated with a leader leading you, your spouse, your kids, whatever it is, if you find yourself being frustrated, what is the natural response or the common response of most people, stay frustrated, stay frustrated, continue to push back, continue to tell the other person that they're wrong, continue to tell the other person you don't understand why they're not getting what you're saying. It tends to be this very selfish and self-centered response that says, You're the problem. And unfortunately, while the other person definitely is not getting the information, it could very well be your communication, it's most likely let me just say this. More than not, it's going to be how you communicated that first bit of information. Now, with that being said, caveat is many times people don't, you know, dig in and find out they don't ask the right questions, all that I completely get that and I agree, if you're thinking that right now, I get that. But what I'm talking about is, what do you do about it? Do you stay frustrated? Do you continue to tell them that they're not asking the right questions? Do you continue to be a dork about it, I have been 14 billion times I've done that in my life. I've just discovered that when I stop and actually think more about the other person than myself, then I can get past the communications.
So the thing I want you to do is to hear that get that inside of you when you are running into a communication, frustration, a communication misunderstanding, then I want you to first ask yourself the question, Am I not communicating well enough? Right, start with you. Again, our natural tendency is to think it's the other person's fault. It's their problem. I get it, I understand it. But don't start there. Okay, start with you. The first thing to do is go red flag, something has not been communicated well, I should start asking quality, not accusations or questions, right? Not leading questions, I should try and get to an understanding of something I should try and get to an understanding of why this isn't making sense. And what I will do is I will start asking the other person, what doesn't make sense? Why do I do that? Now, if you've ever heard me in a live event or anything like that, or even in some interviews or discussions, you will hear me say a lot. Does that make sense? I will say that to somebody, I'll be talking about something you hear me talking to you about that? Many times, as I'm explaining something on the show, I'll ask Does that make sense? Because I'm right there in the car with you, right? Because I want to make sure you're understanding what I'm saying. Why that has become a fantastic force of habit for me? Because it gives the other person the Okay, the permission to say, no, what Chris, they're, they're adults there. They should be able to even I mean, my kids should be able to say, No, I don't understand this. Yep. I understand what you're saying. I understand what you're thinking. But the person who was like me in my younger years, who's afraid to ask questions, I'm now letting them know, it's okay, why shouldn't have to do that? Great.
Hold that stance, keep, keep that stubborn stance, and realize that you're never going to have great communication the rest of your life, or recognize you can be a caring person, somebody who cares more about the other person than you do yourself. And if I care more about that other person, then I want to set them up for success in the communication, I want to say to them, does this tell me what doesn't make sense? What's confusing, I'll even change it up. I've discovered that I say, does that make sense? And sometimes they'll be yes. And I'll say, is there anything that's confusing? Well, yes, this part over here? Well, I just asked you, does that make sense? And you said, yes. But if I change the verbiage, and I say, is there anything confusing, sometimes that hits a different part of their brain? Once again, it's not about me, it's about the other person.
So then they'll throw something out. It helps me to dig in and give better information, right to remove confusion. There's no point in me being frustrated because it's stupid in my mind to be frustrated at this point. If I'm not giving quality information, right, if I'm going to be frustrated, I should be frustrated with myself. So as I start to ask these questions as I start to add dapped my communication ask questions by digging in by getting them to tell me what doesn't make sense, what they're struggling with what they're in many times, I'll say, what are you receiving from me? That's also a great question for you to ask somebody, what are you receiving, when I say that, or even? What are you hearing, when I say that, if I will do this, then what happens is, is that person, if they're struggling with any fear or any, you know, they don't want to look stupid or anything like that, or even just their brains not processing fast enough to get to that information, then by doing this, it opens up communication. They feel like I care, they feel like they can trust me, they feel like they can share with me. And as long as I don't destroy that trust, then we're golden. We can keep moving on. So as I do that, they start to fill in information. So as I adapt the conversation by trying to get into the mind of the other person, I don't have to become their personality style. I don't have to become them. I just need to see what is lacking in my communication. What am I doing wrong? Now, some of you, if you've ever watched the personality styles video, which I massively suggest that you get that video, if you've never watched that, you've got to get our personality styles video. In there, I share decades ago, when I had a sales team leader who talked to me about not communicating really well about something she was like, you know, hey, this thing that's going on over here? We don't we don't know what's going on. I'm like, What are you talking about? I thought you guys knew all of that. And she goes, Chris, that's your problem. You always assume that we know what's going on inside of your head. And so I had to stop and go, Oh, I do that. This is 20 years ago, it's so I actually changed the way that I communicated by bringing information to a meeting, giving all the information the way I would normally give that information. And then I just asked a bunch of questions. Hey, guys, what makes sense? What doesn't make sense? What questions do you have? What's confusing? You know, I
just asked question after question after question. At that time, I used to have a yellow legal pad that I carried around with me, not because it had anything to do with legal, it's because I wrote down somebody's notes. And I would just write down what they asked. So I laid out the information, the way that I normally would lay out the information, and then I just wrote down all the questions at the head about it. So the next time I returned, I kept that legal pad of questions. So the next time I want to do a presentation to the team, I run through their questions. I wanted to know, how are they thinking? Because the questions that they showed me what I was not doing in my communication style, and how I was not leaning in their direction. So as I just ran through the questions that they asked in the first presentation, I got all the answers, I needed to be able to let me rephrase it. Let me rephrase that, I got most of the answers that I needed. Then what I did is I presented that one, and I did the same exact thing, what questions do you have, you know, I went to the same litany of, of questions to them. They asked stuff back, I got the information, and I wrote those things down. I did this like four or five times in presentations to my team. And what I came back with was a lot of information that helped me to see that I could adjust my communication with my team, and become much more clear. Now. I had been teaching personality styles at that point. Again, this is 20, some years ago, probably I don't know, 24 years ago or so. And I had been teaching personality styles for probably a few years at that point. And I recognized that I was struggling even on pieces that I hadn't thought about yet. So as I made my shift, I made my adjustment. I started communicating considerably better. It was at that point that I realized I had got to do even further, I've got to do a much greater deep dive into understanding my communication process, and went ballistic, and really started teaching and training that not just that one piece, but all the aspects of communication, to make sure that people were getting great information and that teams were doing well and families were doing well and parents were doing well and you know all of that so that people could adapt and communicate incredibly well. Okay, so hopefully this is all making great sense in how this has adjusted my communication.
So having been somebody who taught personality styles 24 years ago, something like that 25 years ago, whatever. This was a big piece for me to recognize in my own style. So this is what I want you to hear, for the last 24 for 25 years, my adjustment was not just understanding personality styles, but recognizing when I don't lean in their direction. That is one, I really went ballistic and started teaching personality styles on a much greater level. Why? Because it's easy to see how much folks like to understand personality styles, but rarely adjust their own. And again, I don't want you to become somebody different. That's why it was used the phrase lean in so they would not adjust, you know, lean in the direction of somebody else by adapting their own communication. So that became a big part of teaching. This is helping people to go, let me recognize myself, and what's going on with me. So, with all of that being said, recognizing I'm the problem, you know, let me start there. Yes, it is very possible that somebody else's, you know, it's their issue, I completely get that. But let's just say that that's the much smaller portion of the time, right? Most of the time, it's probably my fault. Let's just assume that so that we can do the best that we can to communicate, and help other people to win with communication, right? So what do we do when it comes to bridging some of those gaps? And how do we do it in a graceful way? Now, I just shared with you one of the big pieces, understand you, right, understand how you act and react, how you give information, and how you receive information. If you're a high D, understand, you don't want lots of information, and you give sound bytes of information back, you know, you want it in sound bites, you give it in sound bites, if you're high, you want it to be very personal, you want it to be fun and energizing and, and you want to be able to share lots of personal information with people, if you're HIE s, you want to make sure that it is not pointing to you, it doesn't affect people in a negative way. You don't want to make any decisions that affect people in negative ways. So you want to make sure that everybody is okay, everything's going fine. If you're high see, it's all about the detail, detail, detail, detail detail.
So if you understand these aspects of yourself, then what you can do is take a look at other people's personality styles, if you already know it, you know, again, if you have not run your team through personality styles, and especially with the values aspect of the disk plus, then boy do you need to do that you've got to get that done, it just changes the way your whole team communicates. Not just you. But it changes the way a team communicates with each other. So for our team, everybody's got their DISC profile. Now a lot of folks are remote, but in the early days, we had it on their desk. So if you walked by somebody's desk or to somebody's office, you immediately got to see their profile, and you knew, you know, the personality style of the person you were speaking to, right? Something I do like a buddy of mine has his team put their disc on their zoom handle. So normally we would say your name, it says their name, but it also says like their I think their height, their two highest personality styles, so that when you're on a call with this person, you could look down at their name and see, oh, I'm speaking to somebody who's ADC, this person doesn't want any personal time whatsoever. They want to cut to the chase, get to the details, get the information, you know, solve the task, and move on. Or if I'm looking down at somebody who's a high I S Well, great. This is somebody who actually would enjoy a few minutes of, of chit chat be personal. And it's going to help us to get to the rest of the information faster by actually spending some of that time talking. Right?
So the more time I spend recognizing their personality styles. If I can see him, then great. That gives me a clue immediately. What if I don't have their personality styles? Well, then for me, what I should start doing is asking questions, I should ask questions, especially about the topic. And that allowing them to reveal their answers. What personality style I believe they are, you know, this is a fantastic sales technique for any of you who do sales on the phone. Then if you ask enough questions early on, it should help you to get to an understanding of what personality style you're talking to and then you can adjust your approach from that. Now, with that being said, what do we do about bridging these information gaps? gracefully? Well, it all goes back to, again,
me choosing to use questions as a big piece of how I get to how the person is receiving me how the person is, you know, taking the information that I'm sharing, are they getting it? Are they understanding it? And then recognizing by the personality style, how I'm going to deliver that. So what I gotta say is, is that if I'm speaking to a high D, I rarely will look at a high D and go, you know, does that make sense? Because the High D is gonna respond. Oh, yeah, of course. Of course, of course. And then three seconds ago. Now, tell me about this thing over here. Well, help me with this. You know, a high DS response is going to be Yeah, I get that. That totally makes sense. But fill in the gaps, because I don't understand it. Well, why are you saying that? It makes sense. You know, it's like, if you ask, Jessica, hi, Dee, what are you afraid of their responses? I'm not afraid of anything. Well, what are you concerned with? Well, I'm concerned about this, this and this. Okay. So it's just a different way of looking at it, right? So in all my Heidi's out there going, Yeah, that's me. If I speak to the high D, in a way that they feel is making them sound stupid, I'm going to have a really difficult time with this conversation. So instead of saying something like, does that make sense? I might change it up and go, you get that? Right. And that puts it on them? They go? Yeah. Oh, yeah, of course. But do you have any questions about it? I'll adjust the way that I communicate with them. That makes sense. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Okay, is there Do you have any questions on it, though? Yeah, this, this and this. And it changes the way that they receive the information that I'm sharing. So as I look to each personality style, if I'm talking to a high I, I'm going to be very personable about it, I'm going to talk about it in a way that you know, is speaking to, you know, are they, not only are they getting the information, but I'm not going to be a super task, you know, driven and how I deliver it, I'm going to try and deliver it in a way that has a different tone, you know, making it nice and fun if I can, but here's the thing I need to know about the high I does not pay attention to details. So if I'm delivering Yes, hi, yes, you all know that.
So if I'm delivering it to a high eye, then I need to make sure that they are actually paying attention to the details. And what I might do is, you know, if I asked Do you understand that again, like the D, they're gonna say yes. But here's what I will ask them after that. Can you just repeat back to me what it is that I'm saying? Can you tell me what you're hearing me say, which is, that's actually a better way of saying it, I love to use up, tell me what you hear me saying. Because then they need to repeat the thing that I'm saying. And that's where I find the gaps, right? If I've not done a good job communicating to them If I am creating information gaps, I will see it, if I've communicated really well, and they're not really picking up on the details, then I'm going to see it there as well. So the highest what I want to do to bridge those gaps is to start listening to their responses, I want to see you know, in every one of these situations, by the way, you need to be listening to their response. Don't be listening, so that you can have a response. It is not about listening so you can respond. It's about listening to what they're getting, or how they're receiving the information. So the high is what I'm going to do is I'm going to listen to see if there's any problems if there's any conflict in this. If the highest feels conflict, immediately, they are going to struggle with this information, and they're going to say things like, I'm not sure that we should do this, I don't think that's going to work out. I don't know why we would even go in this direction. There's a lot of stuff that they will do, showing you that they're having a problem struggling with their personality style. That's where you start asking more questions. Where do you see this being a problem? How do you see this affecting people negatively? What you know, just tell me what you think is wrong with this whole project of this whole thing, or whatever? Get in and get them to expose the thing that they're experiencing now if they have a legitimate reason. Yes, I think this is going to be a problem because it's going to fail over here. Great, fantastic. Maybe you've got new information. If the information is this is conflict and I don't want to deal with it, then that's going to show up pretty rapidly as well. That's when you're going to lead the conversation in a different direction. Help them to let me say that again. Help them to overcome the conflict that they're experiencing with the communication with the information, and help them to see and understand why this information is necessary. Help them to overcome the conflict aspect of it, whatever is necessary, this will help you lean in their direction and bridge that gap of confusion that is created or frustration on your part that's created because of the conflict issue, right?
So, again, make sure that you're listening to what they're experiencing, make sure that you're listening to what they're saying, don't just listen to respond, listen to how they're responding, what they're saying what they're experiencing. So if you're looking at a high C, understand lack of details is going to be your biggest issue, right? The Heisey is going to need to know the 30,000-foot view to understand the five-foot view period, it's just it's the way that their brain processes, if they don't understand the big picture, then the thing that you're asking them to do is going to be incredibly difficult for them to accomplish.
So you know, if you're trying to teach your child about math, and you're telling them you just do this, this, and this, and they don't understand why you're doing it that way. And why would you calculate this, this, and this the specific way that you said, then it's going to be very difficult for them to think through that process and put that process in their brain for the future. But if you can help them understand how you got to that process, then they can lock it in and go, that makes sense. I can do A, B, and C going forward. So big, big key is adapting your communication style, to help them receive the information you're communicating. So one of my favorite things, is after teaching this for so long, is watching clients people, at the moment recognize that they can make some adjustments at the moment, lean in somebody's direction, that for me is just super powerful. Because one, it's one thing to understand personality styles, that's anybody can do that. But it really takes somebody to recognize that maybe they're the problem and the moment that maybe they need to adjust them in the moment. And so it has been fantastic to watch person after person client after client business leader business owners, you know, team members that will stop and lean in somebody else's direction. You know, like, like I shared, you know, just helping.
Yeah, hi, see, to see a big picture. If I'm giving direction on something and going stop, they're definitely not getting this go big picture, share the whole information, and then see if they get the you know, the smaller piece of information. That is such a powerful thing when I get to see clients do it. It's just, it's crazy fun. Because it means they've gone past the just learning aspect. And they're now moving in the direction of I want this person to get this, I want this person to be successful. So it has also been fantastic to see whole teams do this. Now. It takes a while again, you need to go through the whole process, you need to make sure everybody's gone through their discs, you need to make sure people have watched the video, and you might need to make sure that it's coming up in meetings and discussions and one on ones and all that kind of fun stuff. It's one thing to be able to understand and help people understand personality styles, it's a completely different thing, to help them when to stop being selfish, self-centered, and focused on you, and say I want this person or these people to really get this. So with all of that being said, it is vitally important that you understand this can be done. Not only can it be done, it's happening all the time. We have lots of clients with their teams that operate this way. It is a great thing to recognize somebody's team. During a strap play. There's quite often there are times that folks who have been through all of this, sitting at a table somebody is struggling with something and somebody on the other side of the table will say stop Hold on, you need to lean in their direction. Remember, you know she's a high C or he's a high, or whatever it is great to see team members doing it literally, you know, on the spot. It works. People are doing it, you've got to make the decision that this is something that you want to do that you want to understand you want to experience and you want your team or your family, goodness. The most important place is to make sure that your family is communicating incredibly well and getting past all of these gaps.
So here's my desire for you no matter what your personality style is, it does not matter what your personality style is. My desire is that you choose To become adaptable, that you choose to become flexible with your communication, that you recognize that you may be the issue. And if in the end, you find that you're not great, fantastic, that's wonderful. But always assume that you are so that you can make sure that you're giving the best information you possibly can. Now, if you want to get moving on what I'm talking about today, check out our collection of disc products. They are designed to enhance communication, teamwork, and definitely understanding within families. So visit Chrislocurto.com/store. For more details, that's Chrislocurto.com/door. Well, there you have it, folks. we've navigated the intricate terrain of information gaps and personality stones. Now remember, understanding these dynamics can transform your relationships. That's how I want you to view this. If you want better relationships at home, if you want better relationships in the workplace, doing what we've talked about today can absolutely transform that now. We would love to hear your stories. We would love to hear your insights. So do me a favor, and feel free to share those with us on the podcast at Chrislocurto.com. That's a podcast at Chrislocurto.com. Well, hopefully, this has helped you today. And as always, we hope you take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.