December 23, 2017

Crucial Talks Episode 11 Use Identity to Build Relationships: Christmas Presents, Presence, and Snickers Bars

In this episode, I tell a story of going to buy my wife a Christmas present.  It started as a clear in-group/out-group matchup between the sales associate and me.  However, I pivoted.  I became present in the moment and began to think about the identities that the sales associate played in her life.  That allowed me to gain empathy.  Because of that empathy, I communicated in a way that brought us into the same group.  I also found a way to become an ally and not build trust.  I didn't expect a discount, I merely wanted to see if we could develop a short-term relationship based on a shared identity.  We did and I was able to transition from a "customer" to an ally.  This encounter lasted mere minutes, but shows the power of using identity and the roles we play to understand others and understand the world around us.

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