Friday, August 9, 2019

Notes from Five Stars - The communication secrets to get from good to great - Carmine Gallo

Why Great Communicators Are Irreplaceable 

Five Stars is for those who believe their ideas matter 

  • It’s easier to rally a team around one common goal than to divide their attention
  • Frame the argument within a grand purpose 

To make an argument easy to follow and exciting to hear, use the following techniques

  • Antithesis - juxtaposing two contrasting ideas “Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil” 
  • Anaphora - repetition of the same word or words in successive sentences or within clauses - “It is not an affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent. “
  • Alliteration - Repetition of similar letter sounds in two or more words in a group - “By referring the matter from argument to arms,...”
  • Parallelism - Express several parts of a sentence in a similar way to show the ideas are equally important, adding balance and rhythm to a speech - “ I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments and common sense.” 

  • Qureshi interview prep :Consider yourself a character in the story and structure your story with a beginning, middle and an end. There should be inflection points, characters and easy to understand motivations. Keep it short while preserving the color that’s interesting. Qureshi practiced the stories he would tell again and again. He recorded himself telling the narrative and asked his friends for feedback

Top leaders believe communication skills as the lubricant of execution that gives the company its competitive edge. 

Nothing happens voluntarily in an economy or society, unless someone changes her mind. Behavior can be changed by compulsion, but minds cannot.

In free societies, free talk rules. Persuasion - sweet talk - affords the greatest opportunity to leapfrog from where you are today to where you want to be. 

Rhetoric is ultimately the art of happiness. The end goal of persuasion is to use language to encourage both parties to flourish, to find  happiness. Aristotle said there at two steps to achieving it. 
First step is articulating the theme of the argument itself. Second, the speaker must prove that the argument is solid and logical.

  •  A speaker must back up the argument using three rhetorical proofs. Logic, credibility and emotion. Logos, Ethos and Pathos
Logos - Logical reasoning
Ethos - The character of the speaker
Pathos - emotion

Emotion is the fastest path to the brain. Emotion grabs our attention and emotional memories are unforgettable. 

There’s one thing that only humans can do, and that’s dream, so let us dream big. -Gary kasparov

Successful companies and entrepreneurs create a narrative around their products, services and brand. If I want to have an impact on your life or to sell you something. If I want you to use something I have created, I’ve to fit that into your narrative. I have to tell you a story that is compelling enough for you to want to be part of my story because I’ve created change, something new and interesting. And that narrative is something I want you to be part of. That is how humans have created our civilization. We tell a common story that holds us together. 

Ahrendts father said - “I can teach you anything. But I can’t teach you to feel. I can’t teach you to care.” 

Lessons of 5 star hospitality providers

  • Get the customers name right
  • Beat the greet - Be the first to say hello, to step out from the desk to say - “Good Afternoon” 
  • Anticipate Needs -  A three star employee meets, a five star employee anticipates
  • Daily Storytelling - Tell stories that reinforce the company culture. 

Who’s Earned Five Stars

  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson: The secret of communicating science and other complex topics is not to “translate” the content - but to explain with enthusiasm and where and when necessary, link the concept to something embedded in pop culture, where we all have active receptors. Take complex ideas and embed it in familiar ground. 
He wrote the following demoting Pluto from planethood. 
E.g. if Football were the sun at the 50-yard line, Earth would be at the 15-yard line. Pluto a quarter mile away, get over it. 

People are responsible for the state of the world. We are managing the world. Great communication skills empower people to lift themselves up from their current situation and to join together in a systematic effort to create a higher quality of file for everyone. 

The most important messages are not the ones that inspire you to do something easy. The most important messages inspire you to achieve your highest potential and that’s hard. It’s always hard. But it’s worth doing. 

Dollar Shave club bought by unilever - guerilla marketing of DSC 

Burning a message into a person’s skull is a rare art. In order to do that, it must be memorable, clear, vivid, and have an element of emotion associated with it.  - Micheal Moritz, Investor 

Sharon - revolutionized adult diapers by trying them on. - What sets you apart - “Passion and empathy” - The people who stand out, stand up for customers.” 

Students of communication climb the career ladder. 

All leadership takes place through the communication of ideas to the minds of others. - Charles Cooley

Google’s CEO  doesn’t use bullet points, and neither should you. 

Google’s project aristotle found that effective teams have the following qualities 

Psychological Safety 
Impact of Work 

David Feinberg - President of Geisinger Health 

CICARE. Program Acronym Description - Doctors use this to communicate with patients and it improved their satisfaction scores. 

Make a great first impression, greet patient by name where possible
Introduce yourself, your name, and your role
Explain what you’re going to do
Ask Permission and Anticipate 
Ask questions - Also anticipate needs and concerns
Respond to a patient’s needs or requests promptly and positively 
End with Excellence 
Close the loop, communicate next steps, and manage up by explaining who the patients will be meeting next

Inspiring Leaders wear SCARF 

Wallace said that a real leader’s authority comes from the power we give that leader and we give them power because of the way they make us feel.We like the way we feel in the presence of a great leader. We like the way they persuade us to work harder, to push ourselves and to dream bigger than we ever imagined. 

TED Stars:

  • Replace bullet points with pictures
  • Make the audience laugh
  • Share personal stories
  • Make presentations easy to follow
    • State one headline
    • Use the rule of three
  • Promise the audience that they will learn something new 

The ability to inspire people to look beyond their circumstances and to imagine worlds that have yet to exist is a gift that should be shared, nurtured and sharpened. One great idea can light the world. Let’s shine a light on yours. 

How to Get from Good to Great 

People are dying because we can’t communicate in ways that allow us to understand each other. That sounds like an exaggeration, but I dont think it is. - Aland alda

The tool is storytelling and by including tension, conflict and hurdles within a story, you’ll add a little stress that keeps your listener glued. Stories are irresistible because we are wired to think in story, process our world in story and share in story. 

Three kinds of stories you can tell 
  •  Stories about personal experiences 
  • Stories about real customers or clients
  • Stories about signature events in the history of a brand or company

An impactful story contains the following elements

  • It’s a story with a beginning, middle and an end
  • It’s intriguing - thought provoking, novel, informative, interesting and entertaining
  • It’s authentic - The characters, settings and challenges must feel true. 
  • It includes details - Small, vivid or important details enhance the authenticity of the story
  • It reveals a surprise 
  • It introduces empathetic characters -  The listeners should be able to see themselves in the shoes or the context of the hero. 
  • It has conflict and tension - An empathetic hero overcoming a meaningful hurdle and succeeding in the end is irresistible. 

Persuasion cannot occur in the absense of Pathos, an appeal to audience’s emotion. 
Stories are the best linguistic tool we have to build Pathos because humans are wired for it. 

The three act story structure

The setup - intro and current state
The confrontation - world turned upside down and obstacles are revealed. 
The resolution - The problem is solved and everyone is happy 

Stories with an emotional trigger alter our brain chemistry which makes us more trusting and open to ideas. 

Deliver the big picture 

You have five seconds to grab my attention - Geoff Ralston 
  • Don’t cram all you know on One Slide 

Hollywood has a log line of the story
This is the logline of Godfather - The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandesitine empire to his reluctant son

  • Introduce one big idea within 15 seconds of starting your presentation. 
Use simple words 

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary - about Ernest Hemmingway 
  • Use grade school language
  • Sell your idea in 10 minutes as brain tunes out after 10 minutes. 
  • Download text readability software like the Hemingway app 
  • Edit your work again and again

The computer is a bicycle for our minds

  • Use analogies and metaphors
  • Start to keep an eye for analogies and metaphors. You’ll find them everywhere. 
  • To be a master of metaphor is the greatest thing by far… it is a sign of genius

(B) - Book to read -  Shortcut: how analogies reveal connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell our greatest ideas. 

It’s rare that a fresh idea comes up out of nowhere. More often we put together disparate ideas that nobody has put together - James Patterson

  • Connect ideas from everywhere
  • Find your theme song - songs that motivate you
  • Read more books to become a better speaker
There are very few problems that a new challenges
Reading enhances the leader's ability to create powerful, emotional rhetoric to galvanize a team. 
  • Take a trip to the unfamiliar to spark to new ideas
  • When planning a presentation to deliver your original ideas, don’t start with the slides. Put yourself in a creative space and think through the elements of the narrative before creating slides or documents. People are not moved by slides, they’re moved by the emotional components of your story. 

Conquer the fear that holds you back

Reappraise your experience
Rehearsal - train under pressure 

Great communicators are made not born. All of them have overcome stage fright. You can too. 
There are two techniques that help. Reappraisal means reframing your experience from negative to positive. Then put in the practice. Repeating a presentation over and over will boost your confidence for the big day. 

Find the tune that makes your heart sing. 

Words from the heart enter the heart - Jewish Proverb

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Notes from Everything is F***ed - Mark Manson

The uncomfortable truth is a our lives are small and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things
Our brain has both a thinking brain which is logical and a feeling brain which is emotional. Feeling brain is the driver because emotion gets us to act.
A feeling of pain opens up a moral gap. When moral gaps persist for a long time they normalize and lodge themselves inside our value hierarchy. These values form your identity. Your identity
will stay your identity until a new experience acts against it. We group with people according to their values

Religions all sell hope to the hopeless. They can be spiritual religions (outside world), idealogical religions (inside world) or interpersonal religions. Develop some rituals for the Religions
Pain is never ending, we notice the relative level of pain. If our health is good, then we notice the shoe against our leg. Basically we always sense a level of pain. If we solve all problems, we
still look for other problems.
If a parent tries to remove all problems, the kid will be disappointed for even small things.
Religions give hope and postpone the existential crisis. Hope depends on destroying the current thing. We should look beyond hope, look beyond values, we should have amor fati. or love of one's fate.
Nietzsche says man is the rope between beast and something greater. Don't hope of being better. BE better.
Kant's principle for humanity - Treat humanity not as a means but as an end. Always maintain consciousness.
Pain is the universal constant. Pain is the source of all value. To numb ourselves to pain is to numb ourselves to anything that matters in this world.
Feeling makes the world go round. Value is created by decreasing pain (innovations) or avoiding pain (diversions)
Variety is fake freedom. Commitment is freedom. Embrace the pain.
AI is the final religion and the authors hope is that we will create the AI which will supply an antidote to our uncomfortable truth which I'm not so confident about.

The way to do that is to adapt our technology for our flawed psychology rather than to exploit it. To create tools to promote greater character and maturity in our cultures than diverting us from growth
To enshrine the virtues of autonomy liberty privacy and dignity not just in our legal documents but in business models and lives
To encourage anti fragility and self imposed limitation rather than protecting everyone's feelings
To create better tools to help our thinking brain communicate with our feeling brain better to bring them in alignment.