They Just Don't Get It!: Changing Resistance Into Understanding

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They Just Don't Get It! explores an all-too-common dilemma: when people around us just don't "get" our ideas. Through a charming illustrated fable, it tells the story of Julie Buffet, a hard-charging advertising executive with what she thinks is a fantastic idea for a new campaign. But nobody gets it-not the client, not her boss, and not her coworkers. And Julie can't understand why. We have all found ourselves in this situation at one time or another, and we typically see this problem as a failing on the part of the other party. They Just Don't Get It! shows that when they don't get it, the problem is really with ourselves. And it shows how we can finally really get it. If you've ever wondered why your ideas haven't been received or acted on in the way you expected, this book will reveal your own personal responsibility in helping others understand your intentions. Examining the root source of the problem, it details five keys to "getting it"-Take Responsibility; Practice Humility; Begin with Questions; Remain Open; and Believe They Can. These five simple steps will enable you to overcome the problem, and prevent it from happening in the future. They Just Don't Get It! will teach you how to communicate your ideas better, and how to motivate others to pull together and achieve your highest goals in any situation.

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Part One: Pulling Apart

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There once was a woman named Julie who lived in the very best apartment atop the very best building in the very best city in America.

Julie’s apartment was filled with the very best things she could buy.

She owned a top-of-the-line high definition television set with theater surround sound, a treadmill with automatic memory and thirty-five presets of the most famous terrain in the world, and a chrome espresso machine that her father said reminded him of the ’58 Buick he used to own.

Julie had the very best job anyone could imagine. She was the senior vice president and chief account executive for the very best advertising agency in town.

She had the very best clients and produced the very best advertising in America.

Everything that Julie did was superb; everything she owned was better; every idea she had was the very best. In short, Julie got it.

All her friends said so. They said things to each other like, “You know why Julie does so well? It’s simple. Julie gets it.”

Which is why this morning was so troubling to Julie.

 

Part Two: Gaining Understanding

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“It’s something that happens as we mature, Julie. The older we get, the more fallible we become. We know less compared to how much there is to know, but more about what’s important and what we need to know.

“How you learn to deal with this reality determines how well you get the things that go on all around you all the time.”

What does that mean? she wondered as she walked down the cold and windy canyon-like streets of the best city in America. I thought you were supposed to get smarter and better the older you got.

What Dr. R said sounded like just the opposite.

Now I really don’t get it—even more.

Or is that less?

I guess if I got it, I’d know.

But I don’t.

Why is it that some people get it right away? she wondered. Like Joel, her artist, got the Doodley campaign thing. He even understood the alligator concept. But no amount of telling John and Mary Sue the same concepts over and over seemed to make a dent.

Some folks get it, some folks never seem to.

Julie walked and thought.

She thought she needed to find out what was going on. And information, she felt, was the key to discovering why some people got it and some people simply didn’t.

 

Part Three: Pulling Together

ePub

“I’ve heard you talk a lot about this alligator and the sauerkraut,” John said, a little edge in his voice, “but I have to say, I still don’t get it. I guess I’m with Doodley on this one. I don’t think an alligator is funny at all.”

This was exactly where they were two days ago, Julie thought. Only last time, I pushed John and Mary Sue so hard that all they did was stop talking; that made me think I’d convinced them.

When we got to the presentation, she recalled, it was clear that I was on my own.

This time is going to be different, she vowed.

“Joel,” Julie said, catching John and Mary Sue off guard, “You seem to understand what I’m going for here. You want to tell us why? What’s your take on all this?”

Now this was certainly different, Mary Sue thought while she listened to Joel. Creative meetings before were never much more than Julie telling us what she wanted us to do. Lucky for us she was almost always right.

But this is something different. Something new.

Maybe I’d better listen real good.

 

The Keys

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HENRY FORD SAID, “Don’t fix the blame, fix the problem: Find a solution.” In the ultimate scheme of things, who did what to whom is not beneficial information nor is it required to improve the situation. And if improving the situation is your goal, why spend time and effort on fixing blame? Or on determining guilt? If you personally stand up for your mistakes and failings, if you assume responsibility for your behavior, those around you will notice and will, without thinking, begin to assume responsibility for their actions the same as you. Taking responsibility is the best of all modeling actions we can take. It shows our humility, fosters hope, and reduces our tendency to apply force to achieve our intentions.

When you start singing the “I don’t get it when they don’t get it” song, just remember it all starts with you. None of us has the power to change another; we can only change ourselves. Focus on what you can do to take responsibility for your behaviors and reactions. What you choose to do and how you do it is the greatest influence you can have in shifting the response of another.

 

Application of the Keys

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“I DON’T GET IT WHEN THEY DON’T GET IT” isn’t necessarily a bad response. It’s what we do with that reaction, how we voice it, and what it does to us that is either good, bad, or indifferent. When those around us just don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world as we know it. It’s an opportunity to become a teacher and a partner to see that we all get it together.

Turning resistance into understanding is about advancing our current behaviors along the Get It! Continuum. Our working relationships, our expectations, and how we approach work are always changing and evolving. For us to be successful as individuals, we too must evolve and mature. To improve communications and to support efforts for positive organizational change, our inner actions need to shift. To be effective (within our organizations and personally) we need to be self-evaluative. For example: Do you know how others perceive you? Or how you want to be perceived by others? Is how you are being creating the results you desire? What would be the benefit to you and others if you were to adopt some new behaviors?

 

Get it! Continuum

ePub


“I DON’T GET IT WHEN THEY DON’T GET IT” isn’t necessarily a bad response. It’s what we do with that reaction, how we voice it, and what it does to us that is either good, bad, or indifferent. When those around us just don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world as we know it. It’s an opportunity to become a teacher and a partner to see that we all get it together.

Turning resistance into understanding is about advancing our current behaviors along the Get It! Continuum. Our working relationships, our expectations, and how we approach work are always changing and evolving. For us to be successful as individuals, we too must evolve and mature. To improve communications and to support efforts for positive organizational change, our inner actions need to shift. To be effective (within our organizations and personally) we need to be self-evaluative. For example: Do you know how others perceive you? Or how you want to be perceived by others? Is how you are being creating the results you desire? What would be the benefit to you and others if you were to adopt some new behaviors?

 

Reflection and Dialogue Questions

ePub

 

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