Had a long conversation with someone today about how to handle a tough situation in which they were going to have to pass along some hard news.
They asked me if I thought it was possible for them to pass this news along without the other person(s) going ballistic to which I replied, “I don’t know.”
I said people like to believe that all of our choices and decisions are based upon logic and reasonable though but often times they are arbitrary and based upon gut reactions to whatever situation we happen to be facing.
And that is a big part of why it is so important to pay attention to you how you tell the story. Presentation has an impact and sometimes people take offense when none is intended and none should be assumed.
Look at those photos and you’ll gain a glimpse of more than twenty years of my life. Look at those photos and you’ll see pictures that take you from the end of college through my entry into professional world, marriage and fatherhood.
Technically the same man is in every one of those photos but in practice there are some significant distinctions between them. The guy in the top left is very different from the man in the bottom center.
One guy is single and has no responsibilities while the other is married and a father. Since I am speaking about myself I can tell you with complete certainty that my ideas about what I needed and what I wanted were significantly different.
So much of marketing is automated these days we sometimes forget that people are no longer surprised to receive a letter that is addressed to them pers0nally.
The same automation that we clamored for because it was going to make us more productive and allow us to offer more personal service has anesthetized us. We don’t recognize that the personalization we thought made people feel special is missing in many cases and that our communication takes a cookie cutter approach.
An approach that treats the 25 year-old in the top left the same way as it does the 44 year old in the bottom center. Sometimes that is appropriate but not always.
How you tell the story to those two guys matters because even though they are the same man their goals and their lives are dramatically different and consequently how they respond is likely to be as well.
What do you think?