Today we are focusing on the first language of influence, which is the Liaison Language. While we may see ourselves in each of the four languages, there is one that will shine most predominant. As we go through this series, keep that in mind, and try to determine your predominant language of influence, as well as the languages of those around you.
The Liaison Language is the language of not just people, but the valuing of people and their opinions. It is about relationship on various levels. A liaison is a person who initiates and maintains connection with others for a shared purpose. So whether that purpose is personal, social or professional, keeping people in the loop and valuing their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions is crucial if people who speak Liaison are going to actually listen to you.
Let’s say you have a strong belief that drives you to take a particular stand with which you know others in your circle of influence will not necessarily agree. As a frame of reference, think back to the example I gave you in Part 1 of this series regarding the political conversation over dinner. Remember how the volume and passion changed nobody’s perspective? Now think about your stand, which you are pretty certain will be considered controversial. Do you think volume and passion will bring others to your side? Of course not. And it is even more probable that those who speak the Liaison Language will be driven even further away from your perspective because their beliefs have not been respected. Authentically valuing their perspective is of the utmost importance to a person who speaks Liaison.
So let’s rewind. How do you get your point heard, your perspective considered, in the Liaison Language? Here are three specific steps; however, you must be authentic. These actions are not for the purpose of manipulating others to hear you. They are for the purpose of hearing others, every bit as much as wanting to be heard.
Value others’ opinions.
Recognize that no matter how bizarre or skewed or wrong or even evil you believe someone’s opinion to be, you must be willing to sit with them and listen to what they think, and why, with the sincere purpose of understanding.
Validate other’s opinions.
Let them know that you understand each person has their own stories they have lived, and are still living, and understanding their story certainly helps you understand why they feel or think the way they do about the matter. You don’t have to agree to understand.
Ask for reciprocity.
Since you have listened, valued and validated their opinions, most people will be likely to do the same for you if you ask. Say something like: “I appreciate the time you took to explain your perspective to me. It gives me a different framework to look at this situation through. Would you allow me to do the same for you? I would like for you to understand where I am coming from on this issue so that we can respect the different opinions we both hold without having negative feelings toward each other about it.”
When you learn these three steps well, you will have the foundation needed to begin speaking Liaison fluently.