The Outcome of Our Conversations
Depends on Our Objective

I walked into a self-service restaurant near Grand Central Station one morning and ordered fried eggs on whole wheat toast, with bacon. When it was ready, I took it to the table and sat down. If there's anything I love, it's hot bacon and eggs in the morning.

I cut the bacon, put a piece of it on top of the egg, took a bite, and said to myself, "The damn bacon is cold!" I was furious! I love breakfast.

I started to walk back to the counter; I wanted to tell the man behind the counter that "the damn bacon is cold." By the time I reached the counter, my training in sales had convinced me to change my objective. The objective was to get the bacon heated up, not to insult the man behind the counter. So I handed him the plate and said, "Please put the bacon on the grill. I'd like it hotter." (That was my new objective.)

He took it out of my hand and put it on the grill. I waited a minute. He handed it back. I said, "Thank you." He said, "You're welcome." I retreated to the table, to enjoy my breakfast.

The objective of a conversation is the most important part. It determines what the outcome will be. If my objective had been to insult the counterman, I'd have been successful, but I would have been angry and upset during the whole time I ate the bacon.

Having changed my objective, to having hot bacon, I respected the counterman and I enjoyed my breakfast. What a difference an objective can make! I love eating hot eggs and bacon — on a calm stomach.



Additional Coaching Stories:

Sometimes It Pays to be Irresponsible

My Job is to Force You to Perform

I Get Frustrated When My Staff Gives Me Too Much Information

Eliminating a Stutter Put Me Back on the Fast Track

How Authority Affects Our Careers

The Outcome of Our Conversations Depends on Our Objective

How to Respond to "Shut Up and Listen to Me."

Presenting to Senior Executives Made Easy

To order "Be Your Own Executive Coach":
Chandler House Press

©2002 Peter deLisser. All rights reserved.