I was making a deposit at my bank last week when the teller, who I don’t know, asked me if she could ask me a question, one to which she’s in the discovery of answering for herself. I said yes and she followed with, “What makes life valuable?” I paused. We then engaged in a 10-minute conversation that was a bit awkward and quite interesting. I walked away, taken by the exchange. A barrier had been broken.
That interaction, one that’s the epitome of transactional was DISRUPTED. It was disrupted by her curiosity and willingness to break social stranger norms – especially during this time of hesitancy, where we play it safe by sticking to our own social bubbles.
Many of us spend quite a few of our waking hours working hard to look good – to prove ourselves, to prove our value – primarily to those social bubble comrades. And when we’re here, in this mindset, we don’t expand. We’re like hamsters on a wheel clicking off the number of rounds we go, hoping that means progress.
So the one step is simply this – get curious, about other people’s worlds. Focus less on looking good and more on uncovering the adventure of real deal exchanges. And maybe your question looks like…
- What’s your dream?
- What’s one of your favorite life experiences?
- What lights you up?
- What do you want to be known for?
I promise, that wheel won’t go anywhere if you want to come back.
Now if you wonder – how does this relate to work? Consider the social barriers, rules and expectations that keep everyone “in their place.”
Real deal exchanges lead to retention – period. They also happen to lead to new discoveries and innovation within your organization. Free your team from the stale constructs that make every interaction feel like a checklist task – where everyone is just so doggone amenable and the exchanges are forgettable, uninspiring, meh.