Most of us struggle in conversations. We grunt yes and no answers to questions, and then the dialogue gets emotional, we are quick to exit. This pattern doesn’t help our cause with our wives. They want engagement. We tend to resort to an exit strategy that we hope will get us out of the situation. Subversive marketing guru, Seth Godin, describes a similar approach while outlining the sale of Girl Scout cookies. “Most Scouts are taught to memorize a fairly complicated spiel, one that involves introducing themselves, talking in detail about the good work that the Scouts do, and finishing with how the money raised goes for this and for that.” He goes on to say that this is difficult work even for a professional, but for a kid talking to an adult, it’s frightening and unlikely to lead to a positive experience. Isn’t this what frightens us as we engage our wives? What if this doesn’t work? What if I can’t get comfortable? Godin offers a simple approach to the Girl Scouts; simply ask, “What’s your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?” He writes, “In less than ten words, all the Proustian memories of previous cookie experiences are summoned up. In one simple question, the power in the transaction shifts, with the Scout going from supplicant to valued supplier.” Men, that’s our lesson here. Ask questions that start conversations, questions that open the door to your wife’s emotion. Invite her to tell you about her world. Come on, what are you afraid of? Maybe you will find out that you offer to your wife a valuable supply that makes her life richer and better. If that’s the case, won’t your life be more meaningful in serving her?
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