I was recently having a conversation with a man I meet with regularly about a situation I was facing. He’s a mentor of mine and a seasoned retired business man who often brings great insight to my world of dealing with people.
I was venting to him that I was so shocked that someone I was dealing with couldn’t seem to see what I was saying. He quickly pointed out that the person was a “Quadrant 4” person. I had no idea what he was talking about.
I’m not sure where this teaching came from but over the next few minutes he opened my mind in understanding how different people respond differently to correction and instruction based on the “quadrants of what they know”.
1- “I know I know” – These people know that they are in the wrong and therefore choose to either correct their actions or else rebel against the expectations. Here you will get the greatest result of either compliance or confrontation.
2 – “I know I don’t know” – These people are aware that they are missing something in your attempt to correct the situation and are most likely to engage in wanting to understand you better. This is a great opportunity to mentor and guide them.
3 – “I don’t know I know” – These people are in the dark for some reason. Maybe they forgot the email laying out your expectations or the meeting where everything was discussed. Find the right way to smoothly remind them of what they forgot or misplaced and you can get them back on track.
4 – “I don’t know I don’t know” – These people are the most likely to become contentious and combative as their resistance is based on either their pride to concede or their incapablility of allowing themselves to be open to correction. Either way, you are probably going to hit a wall here. Either evaluate if you need to remove the ‘problem’ (let it go), the ‘process’ (find a different way to explain where they are not getting it), or the ‘person’ (wrong person for the reponsibility) in order to move forward.
Ask these four questions when hitting the wall.
1 – Are they the type of person to be resistent? Is this pride or is it lack of understanding?
2 – Where is this breaking down? Can it easily able to be put back on track?
3 – Am I communicating my expectations in a way that perhaps they are unable to understand? How does my message need to change?
4 – Is this person the right person for the expectation? Are they incapable of understanding what is desired?
If you don’t figure out quickly which quadrant they are in, you will expend unnecessary energy trying to get results from people who aren’t on the same page (quadrant) as you.
Onward… to knowing better.