Chip Heath, PhD. is the Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also the co-author (along with his brother, Dan) of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die and a new book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.
The Power of Moments looks at defining moments. Defining moments are those that stand out in the flow of experiences. In life, there are probably a half of dozen ‘moments’ that stick out. For example, when you meet the person you will marry or have big moments in your career. But you also have smaller moments – like times on a vacation.
Defining moments can be good or bad times. One example of a bad defining moment is when basketball player, Michael Jordan was in high school. He tried out for the varsity basketball team but did not make the team and was instead place on the lower, junior varsity level team. This was a defining moment for him. So, throughout his life, when he has gone through tough times, he would remember seeing his name on the list for the less prestigious team. That memory would drive him.
4 Elements of Defining Moments:
1. Elevation – ‘Rise above the everyday’. These are moments of powerful sensory sensations – like watching a fireworks show where there is sound and lights.
In an organization it would be a promotion – if it came with a celebration in some way.
2. Insight – ‘Rewire our understanding of ourselves or the world’. In our daily lives, every now and then a break-through happens, something becomes clear to us. For example, this is the person I want to marry or this is a job I don’t want.
In the workplace, if you can provide insights to clients then they will love you. “Often what people want from us is a level of insight rather than comfort or pleasure.”
3. Pride – ‘Capturing us at our best achievement’ – undervalued at most organizations. It is hard to praise people as much as they would like to be praised. There is a huge benefit of saying ‘I saw what you did… great work’.
4. Connection – ‘connecting with others’. Connecting with others is very powerful.
“Connection requires a level of depth that we don’t often get to in the workplace.” But when we get to that level of depth it’s amazing that we can get to it very quickly.
Heath says there are two reasons why don’t we praise people enough. First of all, we think we are doing it. We ‘feel’ positive towards employees and we think we’ve said, ‘nice work’. It takes discipline to articulate the words.
Also, it is surprisingly embarrassing to say positive things directly to someone face to face.
If organizations can take the time to look at the four elements of defining moments and figure out how to create powerful and impactful moments for their people, the results can be astounding.
How can your organization take the first step to creating “Powerful Moments”?
What you will learn in this episode:
• How John Deere tractor company welcomes new employees
• The power of praise
• How to build in defining moments into your organization
• What role does ‘creating moments of stretch’ play in one’s life or organization?
Link from the episode:
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