Inside the Reader’s Studio…

When I was a teenager, one of the best parts about the Sunday newspaper to me was an insert that every week contained a short section about a particular celebrity that answered a series of questions about them.  It somehow made them more human, more like me.  Their favorite movie, their favorite book, their favorite song – all things that gave insight to how they lived their life.  And even in those pre-social media days, those articles still influenced the economy and industry.  The books they liked became the books we bought.  If they liked a movie or a song, that influences our own cultural choices.  These weren’t paid endorsements like commercials.  This seemed to be what they really liked.  So we could also be more like them if we shared the same preference.

I enjoy a similar experience watching interviews on the television show, Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton.  That show is now in it’s 18th season.  Imagine that a show that is just about a man asking a series of questions of famous people has sustained that kind of success!  Why do we care?  Because we want to connect.  The combination of interview questions specific to the person based on some very skilled research and a set of standard questions asked of every guest really brings that person into our realm of living.  You may find you like someone better, or perhaps not as much.  But always you feel as if you now have some insider information that means you know them.  And while you could argue that in fact we do not really know them, there does seem to be some insight into their “why” of life.  And it creates a bond that translates into that connection that in many cases converts us from mere fans to advocates of their various causes.

This is an interesting idea when we think about our own connection with customers, partners, suppliers, vendors, etc.  What if we allowed that same level of curiosity to come into play about their humanity?  When was the last time you asked a customer about the last book they read that left an impression?  Or what movie has recently touched their heart?  What if we allowed ourselves to peer in a bit to learn what we could do to better connect with them inside their world?

Borrowing a few from James Lipton’s play book, take a moment and ask yourself if you know the answers to these questions even about yourself and those closest to you:

What is your favorite word?  Your least favorite word?

What sound do you love?  What sound do you hate?

Now think of the questions that you would like to ask?  What knowledge would help you create more value?  Do you make certain that you gain that insight about everyone in your community?

We tend to always ask what they think about us, about our work.  Wouldn’t it be more powerful to ask about something more?  To keep the focus on them?  To allow possibility thinking even within the exercise?

Questions are a powerful tool.  They can change our perspective.  And in changing perspective, they change everything.

What would they like you to know?  Maybe just start there.



About Kathi Laughman

Referred to by her clients as “The Plan B to Z Expert”, Kathi inspires them to see beyond probabilities to possibilities. They are stronger, happier and more financially secure than ever before. The result is the creation of far more value in the rest of their story than they ever dreamed possible. She serves professionals committed to continuously creating new pathways to success and significance.

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