Everyone wants to maximize profit. Companies want to make as much money as they can, employees want to have the biggest salary possible, entrepreneurs want their companies to be worth as much as possible.
In their search for profits everyone has the tendency to offer as less as possible while trying to increase their profit margin. What this mentality creates is low quality products and price wars and no one wants to be involved in that. It’s a race to the bottom with no winners.
On the other hand there are people who offer, and offer a lot. They don’t even think about the getting part at all. They do it because that’s what they love, because they believe in sharing and caring. Nevertheless these are the people who usually get more than the ones running after profits.
Society values quality, added value, emotions, feelings, people who care, offer and think about others before thinking of themselves. And society rewards these people. Offering more will always scale by receiving even more, while trying to get as much as possible will lead to a race to the bottom.
Instead of thinking how to get more, think about how to offer more.
We live in a fast moving world. Everything needs to be done now, to be done fast and good. There is no time to wait, no time to lose as some might say.
We have a tendency to rush things under this pressure from others and from ourselves. This might be a good thing if it leads to better productivity, to faster thinking, being constantly alert, ready to make a difference, to make the most of every change we get.
But not all things follow this pattern. Creativity sure doesn’t, inspiration neither. Also problems that need solving, sometimes, need some time to be thought through, to be understood, processed and solved. This are the moments when you need to slow down, get away from the problem, maybe even ask for the opinion of someone from outside the situation.
Slowing down, sometimes, might make you get faster to where you want than rushing. The secret is to know when to balance the two and slow down or sprint according to the situation.
Most of the time people tend to use the suit and tie approach when going to events/ trainings/ presentations for which they have no clue as to what is going on. They have the impression that if they do that they will immediately seem focused on whatever it’s going on.
From the same dress code you will also have company representatives sent to promote the interest of the firm and network. The problem is that when they network they will try to find someone matching their presence and most likely they will end up interacting with the people they have no idea why they are there.
On the other hand, the people who are really there for the action/ information/ presentation don’t need to do that. They will match the even with the attitude they bring, the interaction they create, the knowledge they possess. Most of the time they are dressed casually since their focus is on what’s going on and not on the image they reflect.
If you are going just to network and present an image to others around then suit up, but if you are going for the action and the information just make sure you are comfortable and make the most out of it.
Whatever message you want to send, no matter what information you have to share or what people you have to convince, the best way to do it is by telling them a story. Forget about bullet points slides, about facts and figures, about fancy words and get to work on your story. It does not matter what you want to share, you have to turn it into a story.
Our brain tries to make sense of everything. Every information, figures and facts have to be translated into a coherent picture for our intuitive part of the brain. No matter what you are trying to share to people it has to make sense beyond the rational. The story will add to any information the coherence that our brain needs.
Moreover stories create engagement, create action and momentum. Simple facts and information will appeal to the rational part of the brain but what creates motion is the intuitive part. And most of the time motion is strictly related to emotion. No matter how hard we would like to change this, in the majority of cases, we are rational beings who make emotional decisions.
Above all stories create memorability. No matter how impressive the figures might be, if they don’t have a context, a reference, a point you can relate and connect to, it’s most likely that people will forget it. Think about Steve Job’s iPod presentation when he fitted it into the small pocket of his jeans. It would have been incredibly easy for him to say its weight and height, but actually seeing 2.3 cm x 3.5 cm will create an idea about how small it is; so it’s more likely you will really get a sense of that and remember the comparison.
When thinking about the power of storytelling remember that all of our decisions have an emotional part, but not all have a rational one.
I write this while on a 2 hours journey by train. As I stay here and watch people around me I observe almost the same pattern I see on every travel I make, no matter if by plane, train or anything else. It’s extremely interesting to see what people do while traveling.
Some of them use this time to take a nap, others to read a book, watch a movie or have a conversation with someone. You will always also find someone trying to do some work, write a presentation, finish a report.
Most people who travel several times a year perceive this time as free time, part of the vacation and use it as relaxation time. On the other hand people who travel a lot will try to use this time at its fullest. For them this is as good as any other opportunity to get some work done.
And then you have the crazy passionate ones. The ones for which it doesn’t matter where they are, who’s around, or what time it is. They have to do their thing. You can see they are doing some work by the concentration you can read in their eyes, but you can also see that for them it’s a relaxation moment when they can fully focus on their passion.
Passion can turn any moment into a pleasant relaxing one.