Sharon Drew Morgen

Listening Biases Restrict Sales Success

The problem with accurately hearing what others mean to convey is not that we don’t hear their words accurately. The problem is in the interpretation. During the listening process, our brains arbitrarily filter out, or reconfigure the uncomfortable, unknown, or confusing, to make what’s been...

Boredom: A Route To Creativity

We live our lives with continuous stimulation - on-demand access to movies, articles, social media, friends, TikTok, books, games and music. With all possible, all the time, how can we hear ourselves think long enough for new and creative ideas to emerge? I don’t know...

Making Negotiation Win-Win

Using current negotiation models, people feel they are giving up more than they want in exchange for receiving less than they deserve. As part of standard practice, negotiation partners going into a negotiation calculate their bottom line – what they are willing to give...

What Makes A Decision Irrational?

After spending 30 years deconstructing the mind-brain interface that enables choice and decision making, and training a decision facilitation model I developed for use in sales, coaching, and leadership, (Buying Facilitation®), I’m always amused when I hear anyone deem a decision ‘irrational’. Only outsiders wishing...

Facilitating Compliance: helping patients choose health

In the late 1970s, I approached my studies for an MSc in Health Sciences (Community Health Education) with an idealistic goal to create ways to promote wellness and prevent disease. Although life took me in a different direction, I’ve tried to stay caught up...

The Two Buying Processes: the Buy Side and the Sell Side

When I coined the term Buying Process in 1987 I was describing the change management steps people take between having a problem and self-identifying as buyers. In other words, the Buy Side. Over the years the sales industry has (mis)translated the term to refer to how...

Our Brains Cause Resistance: why change management initiatives get opposed

After listening to folks complaining about getting resistance during a needed change initiative, I decided to write an article explaining how resistance gets triggered from our brain. You see, people don’t make a conscious choice to resist; their brains are perceiving risk and automatically...

Guys Aren’t Gender Neutral: the how and why of (un)biased communication

As someone who's written about communication for decades, I’ve decided to say what it feels like day in, day out, to be at the wrong end of being a person in America. A female. This article offers my personal viewpoint of how our endemic...

Conscious Failing

As a preamble to a discussion about failing consciously, I’d like to retell a story. Many years ago Xerox was beta testing a then new-type digital printer. The testers sent back complaints: it was hard to figure out how to work the damn thing,...

Bridging the Gap between What’s Said and What’s Heard

I used to assume that what I hear someone say is an accurate interpretation of what they mean. My assumption was wrong; what I think I hear (the words, the meaning) has a good chance of being inaccurate, regardless of my intent to listen...

How Brains Decide: why we get resistance during change initiatives

Think about the number of stars in the sky. Let’s say you’ve been told that 500 of them would provide elements of a good resolution to one of your problems, although some would be better than others. You’re offered a spaceship to bring you...

The Customer and the Lipstick: what are customer-facing staff saying to customers and clients?

The only time I ever stole anything I was 11 years old. A group of us girls pledged to do the very naughty thing we knew we weren’t supposed to do and steal one item from the local pharmacy. To this day I remember...

Sales as a Spiritual Practice

With untold millions of sales professionals in the world, sellers play a role in any economy: sellers are uniquely positioned to make a difference. As the intermediary between clients and providers, sales can be a spiritual practice, with sellers becoming true facilitators and Servant...

What If Our Jobs Were To Serve?

I used to live in Taos, New Mexico, where I bought everything I ate from a small grocery called Cid’s Market. Run by Cid and Betty Backer, they always offered fresh organic produce, freshly cooked healthy meals, and a health/vitamin section that had everything I...

Assumptions: Why being right is wrong

I used to think that if I showed up intentionally and listened carefully, I would accurately understand what someone was saying. I was wrong. While researching my book What? I discovered that when listening to others, we naturally assume we understand what’s meant and don’t question that assumption. But due...

The Noise of Subjectivity: how our personal biases shape and restrict our worlds

What if most of our viewpoints, interpretations and assumptions are so unconsciously biased that we unwittingly restrict our ability to accurately understand, or act on, incoming information? And what’s accuracy anyway? Our brains are the culprit, as they set the stage for the way we make sense...

What’s in a Name? The tale of Speaker vs Listener

I often get wonderful ideas during my daily walk. Today I was musing on the implications of Speakers as the arbiters of understanding between Communication Partners. And then I came upon what I think may be an exception. My first name. Because brains have a hard time...

What’s the Cost of Team Miscommunication?

Is your team communicating effectively? Do you reach goals on time and without resistance? Are there subgroups that (unwittingly) restrict the outcomes? Are all voices included during brainstorming to assure the full fact pattern and set of possibilities emerges? How are communication breakdowns handled? I...

Questions: the new superpower

Alexa, Siri, Google, and all programs that answer questions, have mechanisms that determine the answers. If you’re like me, you largely assume they are accurate, without us knowing the reference material or checking further. We actually do this in our daily lives – pose...

Influencers vs. Facilitators: essay on enabling change congruently

Many learning programs provide tools for Influencers - coaches, sellers, negotiators, leaders, healthcare providers, managers, and consultants – to help clients make the changes they seek. Coaching programs teach how to recognize what the client is ‘really’ saying and offer the best techniques to...

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