conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Posts Tagged ‘Aha

Sometimes only a dumb sketch will do

with 2 comments

Show. And (perhaps) tell.

My client has a subset of curious employees who love detail. They work with detail all day, design with deep specificity and get impatient with any glossed-over, highlights-only story. They want the details and don’t weave in that marketing hooey.

These curious employees regularly talk with their customers who also want detail. One curious employee told me a story about a conversation with a customer. The customer didn’t get how this product could work—the benefits simply did not register. Then the employee showed the customer a cut-away drawing. The customer did the mental work and could instantly see the benefits of the product. The customer needed to do the work himself, and that work opened the door to the benefits.

Flatter for easier eating

Flatter for easier eating


Moral: Images can go where words fear to tread.



Dumb sketch: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

April 16, 2015 at 10:24 am

Get More Aha’s Per Hour (Dummy’s Guide to Conversation #17)

leave a comment »

Dance + Sit + Open = Insight

Who doesn’t crave that sudden influx of insight, the aha?

It is the aha that helps us turn a corner, change a behavior, or to finally, effectively, say “No!” to a persistent bad habit. The aha is a change of mind/heart where we suddenly have insight into a persistent question and then realize we can do things differently. And we will, starting now.


Over the weekend Henry wondered aloud how to have more aha-moments. I speculated that generating more aha’s starts with a dance of definition (DGtC #4) and moves to sitting with the question (DGtC #5). Both the dance and the sitting force the troubling question or decision toward the surface—like a bubble rising slowly through a thick malted milk. And then as we take the vulnerable move of voicing our vexation (DGtC #9 and #10) and then wait (DGtC #8), that is precisely when we are most prone to experience an aha moment. That’s because we are searching and listening. And the next conversation may just connect the dots.

Getting more aha’s per hour means living openly with our questions as well as asking them of the people around us. Insights flow from conversations, often unbeknownst to the conversation partners.

What vexation will you voice today?


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

May 5, 2014 at 8:28 am

%d bloggers like this: