In today's episode of the Transition Guy where we're going to be looking at communication and more importantly our inability to be present when people often communicate with us.

What absolutely amazes me is our ability as people, on the whole, to be judgmental. Very often there are people in their lives that we just do not resonate with, that just don't interest us. When we see these people guess what we do? We switch off our hearing. How do we do that? There's this thing in our brain called the “I know” trigger.

What happens is when the “I know” trigger gets activated we just totally zone out.

Those of you that have kids, you probably know with teenagers actually, you've got your teenagers, you're telling them what to do, and you probably hear back from them, “I know, I know, I know.” You keep on talking to them, at them, as if it's going to sink in. You look at their eyes and it's glazed over. Their eyes look like they're on drugs. Totally spaced out. No matter what you are saying, according to them, you're talking and all their hearing is, “Blah blah blah blah blah blah,” because they're not interested in what you're saying.

Another example where the “I know” totally kicks in is we all have a group of friends, a circle of friends in which we hang out in. You probably find that one or two times you go out with this group of friends, and there's that person that you think, “I don't want to really speak to that person.” It's like, “You know what I've got better things to do than to listen to them because all that person is going to talk about is BS, so I'm going to a avoid them the all the whole evening.” So you're in your group and that person comes to you and you are cornered, and then the conversation starts. You'll probably last 30 seconds before you go into, I call it “non-hear.” You to go to a happy space where there's nobody with you. That person's talking, talking, talking. It's like you're in a dream, and then after five or six minutes you wake up, you become present, and you've got no recollection of that entire conversation. When that happens, that's your “I know.” Your “I know's” kicked in.

The challenge we've got is that our “I know” will often kick in more often than we would like it to. The reality is, as a leader of a business or actually when we're running teams in a business. It doesn't necessarily have to be the business leader. It could just be team leaders or executives. You can't afford not to be present. You always have to be listening and learning. Actually, you know what; there may be something in there that's of vital importance that if you switch off you're going to miss.

What's a great technique for actually avoiding the “I know” and keeping the hearing and keeping the listening going? It's using a simple term saying, “Isn't that interesting.” As soon as you say to yourself, whatever that person's going to say, “Isn't that interesting,” you never switch off your hearing, you never switch off your listening. You know 95% of it probably is going to be BS, but it's not the 95% we're after, it's always about the 5%. It's making sure that we don't miss a trick and we are always on the ball.

If you suffer from massive “I know,” it's killing your communication, you're showing massive disinterest when you're hanging around people that you just don't like and perhaps you're coming across as very rude as a result of it, and you want to change it head over to and get in touch. Remember, failure to learn is learning to fail.

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