The video contained just 13 spoken words and 13 written ones, yet it communicated brilliantly. I don’t know what it’s like to be blind. But I understand what a beautiful day is. And I can imagine what I’d be missing if I couldn’t see it.
In 2008, a study conducted at INSEAD business school in Fontainbleau, France bore out the importance of this lesson. The study involved a simulated negotiation, in which the highest price the buyer would pay was lower than the lowest price the seller would accept. The control group, negotiating for its assigned side, was only marginally successful. On the other hand, those who were instructed to imagine what the other side was thinking struck markedly more deals than their counterparts. An astonishing 76% managed to reach a solution.
The magic, as Daniel Pink notes in To Sell is Human, is in the “perspective-taking.” It’s not the message. It’s how it’s communicated. The same…just different words.