3 lessons from The Power of Moments

Here are 3 lessons I’m hoping to internalize from “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath.

  1. EPIC – Elevate, Pride, Insight, Connection – and paying attention to transitions and milestones. Great moments trigger one of –
    • Elevation: That moment when you reached the top of a hill you were trying to climb and saw the view for the first time or when someone blew you away by their inspiration or thoughtfulness. Typically this involves surprises (e.g. an awesome customer service experience when things went bad), raised stakes or sensory appeal. (Nugget: Companies spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with customers who give 1 and 2 out of 10 in feedback surveys. Elevating the positives – 4-6 – earns you ~9x more money and benefit than fixing the negative.)
    • Pride: That moment when you received a standing ovation or recognition for something you did.
    • Insight: When an insight crystallized and changed how you saw the world. These moments don’t come easily – they often require us to “trip” over the truth thanks to powerful experiences or questions.
    • Connection: When you felt deeply connected to everyone around you.

And, we are most likely to trigger one of elevation, pride, insight and connections during transitions, milestones and “pits” (or negative experiences). Interestingly, First Round Capital had a nice article about how Warby Parker excels in making moments matter by paying attention to every part of the employee lifecycle. That was a textbook example of putting these ideas in action.

2. Excellent mentorship = High expectations + Assurance + Direction + Support. This applies to great parenting as well. The key step in this is process is giving direction by designing levels. Designing levels that get people excited to make progress is what video games do well. Fitbit is a great example of using levels to motivate users too – 10,000 steps was an arbitrary landmark until Fitbit came along.

3, Responsiveness is the key to strong relationships. Relationships are about shared values. A group’s humor reflects these shared values – it is why inside jokes are a key part of every functioning group. The key value that strong relationships share, then, is responsiveness – i.e. that you are attuned to the other person.
For example, the simple idea to get physicians to ask patients “what matters to you as part of this treatment” revolutionized children’s healthcare in Scotland. Physicians and patients connected like never before because they’d taken the time to understand each other.
The question for us – Do we understand what matters to the people we care about? Deep questions, thus, are a great way to get to know people and can be powerful relationship building moments.

In the spirit of meaningful endings, I’ll end with a paraphrased quote from the book I’d shared a few weeks ago. It summarizes the importance of moments beautifully.

In the short term, we often choose to fix problems over creating moments. In the long term, that backfires. Moments are not a means to the end, they are the end. They are what we remember in the end.