Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Following Through on "Follow Through"

Hello! Once again Carol contacted me with a comment about a previous post. I have included that email in today's post. Thanks Carol!!! Keep 'em coming!

You had a post 17-Aug about "follow through" that I
> intended to reply to, but haven't. (NOW I am
> finally "following through" on it!). Sometimes being
> able to follow through requires understanding the
> context of answers that you receive.
> I used to work in Mexico a lot. My company had
> subsidiaries there, as well as a joint venture with
> a large US company to produce pigs. I spent a lot
> of weeks at the hog farms working with a man from
> North Carolina who had never been outside of the US
> before he went to Mexico.
> The first two trips, Bill and I didn't go at the
> same time. After that, however, it became obvious
> that he and I needed to travel together. Bill had
> no concept of Mexican culture, therefore had no idea
> of how to "filter" the answers he was receiving.
> Bill asked for several things, and in each case the
> answer was, "Si, si, si, Señor." Yet when Bill
> returned the next time, nothing was done. Not one
> single project was started - much less completed.
> Bill was EXTREMELY frustrated.
> What Bill didn't understand, however, was what those
> "Si" answers really meant. Bill didn't recognize the
> nonverbal clues- eyes glazing over, heads nodding in
> rhythm instead of in comprehension...
> Bill received what I call the "Mañana Yes."
> "Mañana" does not mean tomorrow. It means "NOT
> TODAY." Could be tomorrow. Could be next week.
> Could be next year, but it's NOT TODAY .
> When the local guys were answering ,"Si, si," they
> were really saying, "Yes, I don't understand you."
> "Yes, I don't have a clue what you really want."
> "Yes, I cannot do it." They couldn't follow through
> because they didn't know what to do. They were
> willing to do the work, but not able to do it
> because they didn't understand what Bill requested.
> But culturally it would have been impolite to tell
> Bill "No," so they replied with a "yes" that
> deferred the problem until another day.
> In business it is important to understand the
> context of replies.
The spoken words alone may not
> convey the true meaning. You have to be able to
> hear beyond the words and understand what the other
> party is really communicating. That requires active
> listening - understanding context, and looking for
> nonverbal clues as well as hearing the words.>
> You will be a more effective business person if you
> can see the broader picture and understand the
> context of words. What people SAY may not be what
> they MEAN, and understanding their meaning allows
> you to address their real concerns and more
> effectively follow through.

> Take care,
> Carol

** Comments are welcome diana.tips@gmail.com **



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