After reading and using Duarte's Resonate, I felt it would be useful for us to cross reference what we learned last week with Switch (Amazon affiliate link) by Dan Heath and Chip Heath, which I already reviewed here.
The subtitle of the book will tell you why: it's about how to change things when change is hard.
While Duarte's book teaches you how to think about developing the visual story and organizing its flow to support the hero's journey, Switch helps you drill down on how to craft your message to direct the Rider or our analytical side, motivate the Elephant or our emotional side, and shape the path or direction for the portion of the journey you organize.
As the Heath brothers explain, in interpersonal situations, what looks like a people problems is often a situation problem, what looks like laziness is often exhaustion, what looks like resistance is often lack of clarity. What causes these issues?
Do you spend more time operating in your sweet spot, or trying to improve your weak points? According to Marcus Buckingham, years of research prove that individuals and teams playing to their strengths significantly outperform those who don't in almost every business metric.
"It's a continuous practice finding your strongest life. It takes attention, care, curiosity and fluidity." You need to find the bright spots.
The lesson: find what's working and do more of it.
Too many choices
We keep developing more choices -- flavors, conference tracks, laptop colors, etc. -- when the problem is in the opposite direction: too many choices. Why are all the knowledge and information we have not helpful? "We become overloaded. Choice no longer liberates, it debilitates. It might even be said tyrannize." [Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice, aff link]
Which is why when confronted with this scenario, people revert to status quo -- the Rider can rest because the Elephant takes the default path, that which is most familiar. Uncertainty makes the Elephant nervous. I'd wager we don't generally do uncertainty very well.
The lesson: in addition to the high level direction, you need to script the critical moves.
They tend to narrow our thinking and let in fear, anger, disgust, which then frustrate us further. Why does the world seek negative emotions? Because they focus us in a "putting in the blinders" kind of way. On the other hand, positive emotions don't seem engineered to produce particular actions.
However, they are designed to broaden and build our repertoire of thoughts and actions. The authors provide the example of how joy makes us want to play. And because it encourages us in that direction, it helps us broaden our skills.
The lesson: find the (positive) feeling to encourage open minds, creativity, and hope.
Setting daunting goals is another challenge, which is why great coaches help break them down into small things you can do today. The lesson at work is to help people believe in themselves first. This is important particularly given that we make decisions based upon how we think about ourselves -- our identity.
In a decision-making situation we ask three questions:
- who am I?
- what kind of situation is this?
- what would someone like me do in this situation?
Think about how our purchasing decisions and business relationships flow naturally from who we are. I suggest that our identity is made up of several things:
- heritage -- where we were born, where we live, our age, educational background, etc.
- environment -- transient external factors such as the economy
- needs -- they include both what we truly need and what we think we need and actually just want
- interactions -- we also define ourselves in relationship with others
Our ability to grow depends upon our ability to shift from a fixed mindset -- we are who we are and our wins are attached to that identity -- to a growth mindset -- tweaking the levers above to stretch. The fixed and growth mindset concepts come from the work of psychologist Carol Dweck in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (aff link).
Bringing about a successful change in behavior is the product of providing clear direction, ample motivation, and a supportive environment. What kinds of things can you tweak that are in the way of taking action to make change happen?