He wasn’t talking to you

It’s easy to assume that everyone is (or should be) speaking to you. The reality is, just because we hear someone doesn’t mean we are their target market.

Monday night was the NCAA Division One basketball finals (I’m a big basketball fan so yes this is my second time using the NCAA tournament as an example). After the game, which the University of Kentucky won, their coach was interviewed and he deflected all of the credit to the players and then started talking about the next goal which is to go 40-0. The next day I spoke with a graduate of UK and he thought the coach was overdoing things and should have admitted that yes, he was happy and yes, he proved his point. The reality is, the coaches message wasn’t intended to a 50 year old alum but rather to 16-18 year old recruits he was interested in getting. He was letting them know that if they come to UK and play for him, they could achieve even greater things. The problem wasn’t that the coach was sending the wrong message but rather the alum didn’t realize this message wasn’t for him.

When you overhear someone speaking it’s important to understand that the message this person is sending might not be intended for you. This doesn’t mean it’s a lie, but rather it frequently means the person has a different story for different audiences.

A simple example might be a Realtor selling a house. For one person the Realtor might be emphasizing the school system a house is located in which might be perfect for that persons family. That same Realtor, while speaking to a different person might be emphasizing the vicinity to restaurants or work. Does this mean the Realtor was lying to one person or the other? No. It simply means the Realtor has a different audience so tells a different story.

Just something to think about.

Have a great day!


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