Good preparation is half the work. That applies to the (customer) conversations you have as well. By having a good understanding of the other person and determining a clear goal before you start, you will be able to have a more structured meeting where your influence will be greater. Still, the conversation can take a different turn. Part of the reason is because you can not predict what someone will do or say and: there is no pause-button to push! But your own subconscious process is of influence as well.
Creating or preventing?
Approximately 90% of our behaviour comes from subconscious internal processes. Our thoughts, feelings and assumptions have great impact on how we approach a certain situation. Before starting a conversation we have already subconsciously formed an intention based on these: we either want to create or prevent something. For example: you have put in more hours then agreed upon. An assumption might be: my customer will not approve and won’t pay the extra hours. Your intention starting this discussion could be: ‘prevent the customer to get angry’ which brings along feelings of fear or resistance.
Your thoughts will become your truth
An intention like this has a huge impact on how you will have this conversation. It even has an effect on the physical processes in your body. A negative intention to prevent something will give you a stressed feeling (cortisol rises) and tensed muscles. But the psychological effect is even larger because: your thoughts will become your truth. Research has proven that every time you think you are incapable of doing something, you will perform worse! Good news: it also works the other way round. Start thinking and believing you can and you will perform better!
So: which assumptions do you have entering a conversation? Try and let these go by addressing them in an open, honest and curious type of conversing? How true are they? At the same time have a positive intention to create. You will notice a more calm way of speaking which will keep you in charge resulting in a more positive outcome!