Have you ever struggled to come to an agreement with someone? Of course you have, everyone has encountered a situation where an agreement was difficult to achieve. Mr. Dale Carnegie, in his book How To Win Friends & Influence People, suggests using a method employed by the famous Greek philosopher Socrates – the “yes, yes” method.
The basis of this method was to get people to discover things they have in common and work from those points to achieve an agreement. Mr. Carnegie tells his readers, The next time we are tempted to tell someone he or she is wrong, let’s remember old Socrates and ask a gentle question – a question that will get the “yes, yes” response. The Chinese have a proverb pregnant with the age-old wisdom of the Orient: “He who treads softly goes far.” They have spent five thousand years studying human nature, those cultured Chinese, and they have garnered a lot of perspicacity, “He who treads softly goes far.”
It’s far too easy to go into a conversation and focus on differing opinions. I would encourage you to take a different approach when connecting with someone. Look for common ground. Ask questions. Find out why the person believes the way they believe. The more you learn about their approach, the greater the chance you will discover common ground. And once that ground if found, use it to come to an agreement.
How have you used common ground to achieve an agreement?