Connecting by Subtraction


“To attain knowledge, add things every day.

To attain wisdom, subtract things every day."

[Lao Tzu]

"When you remove just the right things in just the right way," says Matthew May in a new ChangeThis manifesto, "something very good happens."

The best experiences are usually the simplest. The most memorable words are simple. A million years ago, when I was teaching children Italian, I used to work with toddlers who could barely walk, yet could understand several languages.

It was not uncommon for them to pick the easiest word to pronounce in each language they were learning/being exposed to when verbalizing requests.

Take the word "grapes" — in Italian it's "uva" which forces a guttural sound; in Japanese it's sounded as "budo", very easy. Guess which one they used?

Carry the language metaphor one step further, and you can find applications to help you connect with customers in the direct to buyer model. Provide a jargon-free explanation and now you are accessible. Brownie points if you can tie your information to their reality.

Take away the abstract lingo, focus on the critical data points, and make hard choices — often these are the hallmarks of a better experience.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *