Years after my wedding day these words still prove to be one of the greatest things I have ever learned… Bill Price taught me this to make me a better husband but it has also saved me many times in my Business…
A few months before Liesl and I got married, my manager at the time Juan Lewis paid for us to attend a marriage retreat for a weekend facilitated by Bill Price… I know what you’re thinking, “what a nice manager” yes he is 🙂
We learned many things during the retreat but the activity we did on the Saturday afternoon changed my life forever…
We were asked to volunteer and do an activity in the front of the room for the entire group to observe, so Liesl and I went up, and the instruction was for Liesl to discuss with me an aspect of our relationship that concerned her; the instruction to me was that I could only use three words in my responses, “Tell me more” and I thought this is going to be walk in the park, a piece of cake, easy and simple.
Liesl started by asking me, “Why do you have to play Golf every single weekend?” and the room went absolutely quiet, I did not respond immediately because I was angry, I could not believe that in front of all these people she would challenge me on something I really love and enjoy, I could not believe that this person who I thought supported my interest in the game of golf was trying to change me… I was not allowed to verbalise any of these thoughts so I grudgingly responded with, “tell me more”
She continued by saying, “I know that you love golfing and I am not asking you to stop but I would like you to consider playing only once a month” at this point all I could think of was the feeling of loss I would experience if this was to happen and I was not willing at all to even consider this request but I was not allowed to say that so again I responded with, “Tell me more”
And Liesl said, “babe, I go through everyday of the week with a growing excitement and anticipation for the weekend, I look forward to weekends because I get to spend two full days with you, it is not about what we do or where we go, it is the thought of spending every moment with you that adds joy to my days!” At this point the tears started rolling down my cheeks as I realised how important I was to her, I was shocked by her insatiable desire to be with me, I realised that she had the option to spend her weekends with friends or in the shopping malls but she chose me… Wow, how blessed I am, how fortunate I am to be in this position I thought to myself, I completely forgot about the loss associated with not playing golf because I was completely blown away by the love I experienced and received from my bride to be.
I would never have come to this realization if I did not say “Tell me more” tell me more allowed me to gain a better perspective on the matter and very importantly Liesl felt like I was truly listening to her and not just defending my own agenda.
So many times in our personal and business relationships we spend more time defending our position and reason that makes our friends/spouses/customers feel like they are not being heard and slowly the relationships begin to deteriorate.
Tell me more…try it out today with your friends and family and watch how people become more relaxed and willing to share information with you.