Why you need to inspire and interpret more

Liz Guthridge Posted by Liz Guthridge, Managing Director, Connect Consulting Group.

Liz Guthridge is a coach, consultant and facilitator who helps leaders turn their blue-sky ideas into greener-pasture actions. She uses applied neuroscience, behavior design and mindful communications. 


Why you need to inspire and interpret more

Take it from these accomplished keynoter speakers who addressed the  2016 DIG SOUTH interactive conference in Charleston at the end of April.

You need to work on your inspiration and communication skills.

Here are some nuggets and insights I gained over the three days. First, some illuminating quotes:

  • “Traction is the new IP….And transparency is everywhere. You need to focus on getting and keeping traction, and learning to communication better and inspire more.” ─ Paul Singh, Venture Partner and Master of the Hustle @ 500 Startups.
  • “Stop focusing on getting ‘likes’; start being more likeable.” ─Peter Shankman, President of Shankminds, author of Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans and founder of HARO (Help a Reporter Out).
  • “Convenience trumps everything.” ─ Gary Vanderchuk, an entrepreneur who “day trades attention and builds businesses” and serves as CEO of VaynerMedia.
  • “Stop sharing so much information. We’re drowning in information. Focus on sustainable inspiration instead.” Robert Swan, Founder, 2041 and Polar Explorer.

These successful entrepreneurs and many other presenters kept emphasizing that you need to “own” what you’re doing, work to stay relevant and connect the dots for yourself and others.

Shankman and Vanderchuk especially are extremely entertaining and provocative speakers who kept challenging their audiences.

For example, Vanderchuk encouraged people to work hard, hustle and persevere and stay out of the “vanilla zone.” He also maintained that ‘’the world is moving fast. You’re either moving with it, or you’re going to be rolled over.”

Shankman explained that he believes that experiences, not money or products, are driving the economy now and will continue to do so.

Customers want to do likeable things. That’s why Shankman advised to stop begging for “likes” and start delivering amazing experiences and service to your customers.

His five tips for being more likable and helping customers — which can include internal as well as external customers ─ are:

  1. Be transparent.
  2. Be relevant.
  3. Practice brevity.
  4. Embrace concepts, not just a brand.
  5. Work to be top of mind.

Customers (as well as employees) also want to be heard, Shankman emphasized too.

All of these suggestions work well for cutting through the clutter to get and keep peoples’ attention, and move them to action—which isn’t easy since the brain is wired for inattention and inertia. (See Focus on inattention and inertia to spur action for more about this.)

That’s why you should try as much as possible to provide people ─including employees ─ with experiences outside the vanilla zone that are simple, social and fun.  

These types of experiences are much more tempting, enjoyable and memorable, especially when individuals can do them fairly easily with others they like. 

And when you can act as a guide at their side instead of as a sage on the stage listening carefully, providing color commentary, and offering support, you’ll go far to engage people and keep them interested and involved.

Are you prepared to stop shoveling stuff out, and instead start to suggest better, more inspirational experiences with improved service and communication?