Category Archives: Observed Communications

How did you find that out?

B to B Marketers: do you spend as much time speaking with  your direct buyer audience as you do speaking with your distribution channels ? Remember the game of telephone where we would each take a turn whispering a message to someone else; how often was the last person in the chain able to duplicate the original message?

The importance of being in touch with the ultimate end user cannot be under-estimated. magnifying glass

Info is not Knowledge

#agreesharon

Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.

Let me know what you think. 

Listening to a panel discussion on Healthcare Consumerism, an audience member pointed out an age-old phrase that rang ever so true: Information is NOT Knowledge.

Information is only knowledge when it can be used in a productive, beneficial manner. Too much of the healthcare information that we are exposed to daily is written in lingo that few understand or that necessitates a glossary of words to explain.

We do this in almost every industry. Healthcare. Insurance. Retirement Plans. Nutritional Content.knowledge

What are you doing to ensure that the information that you acquire is turned into knowledge that can be used advantageously for yourself and those you care about?

Do you share information or knowledge with others?

Join the conversation……

Forgetfulness or a Senior Moment?

#agreesharon
Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.
Let me know what you think.

brain photo

Millennials call it forgetfulness or a memory lapse; Boomers call it a senior moment or a brain freeze. Source: AARP Research When boomers use these terms, are they subconsciously reinforcing out of date perceptions? #disruptaging

Ask Me What I REALLY Mean

#agreesharon
Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.
Let me know what you think.

Understanding the customer end goal vs. pushing your product and business interests. Check out the article  @DanielBurstein @MarketingSherpa

  • Customer-first means seeing that wanting a 1/4-inch hole – not the sameDrywall as a 1/4-inch drill
  • Customer-first means not confusing a type of shoe with a desire for shoes
  • Customer-first means having a liberal return policy —  customers will be grateful, not abusive of your good will

Are you confident that you were able to uncover an answer that reflects the source of the customer pain?

Red Light Green Light

#agreesharon

Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.

Let me know what you think.

It is that time of the year and NYC traffic congestion is everywhere; the traffic guards working extra hard to move the traffic in an orderly fashion. The following story represents a great glimpse into human behavior: WTF.

Imagine this scene: The traffic guard was directing cars with every ounce of her voice and gesturing hands. A traffic light was also available to guide the activity. So when the traffic light changed color and the guard kept moving cars forward in the direction of the red traffic light, confusion appeared and impatience erupted. The horns were pounded and the car windows opened as drivers yelled at the traffic guard who was not facilitating the traffic flow in keeping with the traffic light colors. For what seemed like forever, I watched the traffic guard in a pseudo-aerobic exercise dance as she persevered in maintaining the traffic flow as she saw fit.traffic-jam

And then, it became obvious! Twelve black Escalade vans appeared, driving in the same direction that she was indeed facilitating movement. There was logic to her actions and the override of the traffic light messaging. For a nanosecond, the car horns and driver obscenities subsided. WTF?

Was there a small smirk on the face of the traffic guard as the caravan came to a close and she turned her attention to traffic flow in the opposite direction?

How often do we assume that someone is doing something wrong or stupid because it breaks from what we expect to experience?

feedback

Not Yes. Not No.

#agreesharon
Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.
Let me know what you think.

Life is not always a yes or no decision. And, sometimes it is not even one of three-four specific choices. A multiple choice question forces your answer into a pre-determined category. Are you more comfortable with structured or unstructured types of answers?

What does that say about your thinking style? feedback

How do I Know What I do Not Know?

This question can have a pivotal impact across any aspect of our lives. If only, I had known that? Why didn’t someone tell me? Can I backdate it?

“Knowing everything” is impossible however creating an infrastructure of information/data which heightens your awareness of issues that are applicable to your situation can be improved. Here are six ways to increase your chances of asking the “right questions” to ensure that you are getting more of the “right information” coming your way:

question marks

1. Ask incident related questions vs general questions.
Instead of asking: How is it going today? Or how is business, start asking more specific incident-related questions:
• Tell me about the last new piece of business you closed
• Tell me about the last employee you hired
• Did John give you an update on the five client requests made during the March 10 meeting

2. Ask the same question more than once to different people.
Did you ever call a utility company or insurance company and receive completely different answers to the same question — from two different people within the same 60 minute period of time. It happens every day and it goes beyond the quality of the service training. It reflects the experience and the empowerment levels of the person handling your request. Hang up the phone and call back if the answer is important enough to you!

3. Let me tell you what I am going to tell you, and then tell you what I told you that I would tell you.
Creating awareness and interest is a never-ending marketing challenge, Studies show that making an impression on someone can take anywhere from 7 to 20 exposure points across multiple channels of influence.
In addition to telling your story multiple times and in multiple ways, remember to stop and ask questions that are as specific as possible. In small discussion settings, pull from your knowledge of the participants history to open up the dialogue. Whenever possible, the goal is to understand how someone else handled a situation. Are there insights that would help you ask different questions?

4. Can I prevent this from happening again?
We all have situations that annoy the heck out of us, especially since they keep happening again and again. We come up with a plan to remedy the situation so that eventually we are less annoyed and more adept at handling the situation. However, have we truly resolved the core reason behind the incomplete transaction, the never-ending disruptions, or the repetitive errors that need to be corrected?
The application of: How do we know what we do not know in this situation is to make sure to let others know how a problem was solved. This supports continuous improvement in work flow and case management so that the root cause of the situation can be adjusted!

5. Ask someone who really cares.
Some people give their heart and soul to specific causes. Find those who have walked in your shoes. Others devote their lives to providing the support services to the situation you are seeking answers. Ask someone who truly cares, as their answer will point to both the emotional and functional issues that are pivotal to your success.

6. Having the courage to take a leap of faith.
The amount of information in our domain is doubling within brief periods of time. Analysis-Paralysis is no longer possible. A smart pilot program can mitigate the risk. Small changes that can be seen in a conservative culture as acceptable iterations to the process……..move the process forward.
Former NY Mayor Ed Koch created an environment of wanting feedback by including his famous “How am I Doing” question with every appearance. How do you know what you do not know? Start by taking an inquisitive nature to life, always looking for new ways to make the questions you ask more insight.

In keeping with this philosophy, I ask you to share a question with me that you now ask on a regular basis that has made a difference in your life.