So you read lots of books…

Awesome.

What are you doing with the learnings from said books?

How are you putting them into action?

Have you summarised the ideas that stood out? Taken note of the things that confused you? Told the author what you liked about it?

Me neither.

If you’re anything like me and feeling called out by this post, it might be time to slow down and read for quality not quantity.

Customers, clients, colleagues, and collaborators

Customers, clients, colleagues, and collaborators are much more than their title suggests.

They are people with hopes, dreams, fears, doubts, insecurities, loves, desires, goals, experiences, and beliefs.

They have a noise in their head, just like you and me.

What would it look like to treat them as such?

A famous advertising tycoon once said:

“The customer is not a moron, she’s your wife.”

David Ogilvy

A question when asking for feedback

What feedback am I actually seeking?

Are you looking for insight into blindspots? Or are you seeking affirmation? Are you looking for propelling questions? Or are you looking for detailed how-to instructions?

Because someone telling you what they love about a project is different to them telling you what they’re confused about in a project. It pays to get clear in what we’re seeking.

If you’re looking for another resource, see: Thanks For The Feedback.

Recent reads (and listens) – May edition

A small selection of some of the books and podcasts that caught my attention in May.

For great insight into how to work smarter, not harder:

Effortless by Greg McKeown

To hear the best two hour interview of the year:

Listen to this chat with Jacqueline Novogratz (Founder and CEO of Acumen).

To simultaneously think until your head hurts and laugh until your eyes water:

The new Absolutely Mental podcast series with Ricky Gervais and Sam Harris.

PS. Did you know I have a podcast with the one and only Jen Waldman? It’s called The Long and The Short Of it (she’s 5″1 and I’m 6″7…) Episodes are 20min conversations and there are no heinous true crimes to be heard.

Start with who

Imagine you are the proud owner of a tennis ball (high stakes I know) and are trying to convince three different people why they need it.

One person is a tennis player. One is a fetch playing dog owner. One is a backyard cricket enthusiast.

How might you go about communicating the value of the tennis ball to each person?

One approach is to use the same spiel to all three. Something like: “this is a great tennis ball, with many different uses.” This is the most common trap in trying to enrol others in change.

A more effective approach starts by understanding the who. Ask yourself: what is important to this particular individual? How might I communicate in a way that will resonate with them?

For the tennis player it might sound like: “this ball is the perfect way for you to practice your forehand ahead of the tournament on the weekend.”

For the dog owner: “use this ball for fetch and provide endless hours of entertainment for you and your dog, without needing an annoying giant stick.”

The backyard cricket enthusiast: “simply tape half of this ball and you’ll bowl like a champion the next time you play backyard cricket.”

When trying to enrol others in change, start with who. Put yourself in their shoes and get curious about the most effective way to communicate to them.