IDEAS FOR LEADERS: Talk in Their Language

An original post by Chris Brogan

I’m in Latvia, and I try to stay connected to my family while I’m on the road. Recently, my 5 year old, Harold, has taken to texting using Kat’s phone. In person, Harold likes to tell me about video games and YouTube clips and his own iterations of other creative properties (he’s invented Super Stick Man Harold, who is part of Super Stick Man Mario Brothers). On text, Harold is telling me about his day. He’s doing it his way. He likes to emote via text. It’s not “yes.” It’s “Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So when we’re on Text, I give him lots of yes and no questions. When we’re in person, I ask him details about Super Stick Man Harold Kart Racing, or whatever else he’s creating.

I talk to him in his language and using his medium. It takes longer sometimes. It’s always more rewarding, though. How he texts is hilarious, complete with grown up emotions thrown in (probably related to things he’s seen in YouTube videos), and how he draws and talks about his imaginary worlds is inspiring.

Would you give that same kind of opportunity to connect if it were your customer? Do you talk in their language, on their device of choice and about the topics that interest them?

Most of us don’t, do we?

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Listening to our customers is not that simple, and many organizations think that they do. With the Organization Optimizer, they would find out if they really were.