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Knower Behavior Implications

Lesson 5 from: Innovation​ ​Kryptonite​ ​-​ ​Knower​ ​vs.​ ​Learner​

John K. Coyle

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Lesson Info

5. Knower Behavior Implications

Lesson Info

Knower Behavior Implications

Here's some research from Judith Glaser about two years ago called Conversational Intelligence. When you judge ideas from people as they're emerging from your lips, everybody in the room at peer level and lower moves into a stress response. Stress response of distrust which emits cortisol and catecholamine, which shuts down your prefrontal cortex and very specifically your creative function so you make everybody, if somebody brings up an idea and you say, "We've tried that before," judging that idea, they emit this fear and distrust hormones and chemicals, they shut down, everybody in the room actually shuts down simultaneously, everybody in the room gets dumber and particularly less creative so if you wanna make your team smarter and more innovative, you already know that's not going to work and here's the triple whammy, so you make everybody dumber and lesser creative by judging an idea, if you do it more than once, so think about it, you bring an idea out in a meeting. "Hey, boss," ...

here's the group of people, "We should do a free phone promotion." "Oh we can't do that, we've tried it before." All well intended but that person shut down, everybody at their level and below is shut down and do they bring the next idea? Probably but not in public. Next idea, "Hey, we should do the free LG phone." That's gonna be in my office, by ourselves, 'cause they don't want other people, they don't want to be embarrassed and I say, "Oh, there's no chance "of getting 50 million dollars of co-promotion." Shut down again. Do they bring the third idea? Maybe. Do they bring the fourth if I shut that one down? Probably not. The people that get their ideas judged shut down forever with repeat occurrences of idea judging in the moment. So you shut them down forever and then the other, the triple whammy in this is eventually, they leave. 'Cause people join companies and leave managers, the number one reason they leave managers is because my boss is not open to my ideas and this is how large companies shut down their creative visionaries and then oust them and suddenly, all you've got left is operators who are no longer open to innovation. This is what's happening, this is why it's so dangerous, it's so dangerous. So, we won't do the workbook but let's just do a little bit of chat here. All right, let's just take a quick poll. Anybody here willing to admit, I, state your name, I'm a knower, who here is probably more of a knower, let's say at work, who here is more of a knower at work? Anybody? No? Okay, good, who, well just make sure, a little bit, okay, who here is a learner at work then? Okay, what about home? Who's more of a knower at home? Right, especially with children. This is a really hard one, right? 'Cause kids, you know more than kids. Now there's an awesome video out there, I can't play it but if you look it up, it's called An Arrow on the Forehead or something like that, it's a video of this guy, he's talking to his girlfriend, she's complaining about how woeful her life is and that she can't sleep and all her sweaters are snagged and she turns and she's got a nail sticking out of her forehead and he says, naturally, "Well, that's because you have a nail in your forehead," and she says immediately, "It's not about the nail," and he's like, "I'm pretty sure it is actually," and she interrupts him, she's like, "You always do this, you're always just telling me "what you think, you don't listen," and he says, "Okay, I'll listen." "Yeah, so it's just really tough and I got "this achy feeling and I just can't seem "to get through my day 'cause I'm having trouble "focusing and," and he says, "That sounds really hard," and she says, "Thank you," and then they try to kiss and the nail hits him in the forehead and he says, "It's about," and she says, "Don't!" Right, this happens particularly with children all the time. The lesson is it doesn't matter that you know there's a nail. I'll give you a specific example. My daughter, teenager, this was when she was 13, worked really hard, eighth grade, worked really hard to get into an art academy. They accepted 80 out of 800 applicants, she did 19 pieces of art, they only required 10, she put her heart and soul in this, she got in, amazing, got the acceptance letter, one year later, six weeks before school's supposed to start, she comes into the house and she says, "Oh I'm not going to that school." I'm like, "What?" "Oh yeah, I'm not going there, they have bad teachers, "no funding, they don't even have art supplies, "no kids that go there go to any colleges "that are any good." This is four nails in a row, just so you know, like, none of that was true, none of it was true, so what did I do? I knew all over her, I said, "That's not true, "they do have funding, they have good teachers, "lots of kids go to good schools and they have tons "of equipment and supplies," but what did I get? Slamming door, on her phone, texting her friends what a terrible parent I am, right, because it doesn't matter that I know, it doesn't matter that I'm right and here I am, I realize I'm being such a hypocrite, like I teach this and I can't even do it, right, so I pause, I wait and eventually she comes out and I coach myself through it and I say, "Okay, all right, help me understand again, "why is it you don't want to go to this school "you worked so hard to get into?" "They have bad teachers, they don't have funding," she goes through the four nails again. I pause because I was about to crack and I said, "I'm curious, is that the only reasons that you think "that you don't wanna go there?" And then, "And I wanna be friends, my friends are all "going to the other school, I won't have any friends, "I won't know anybody," and she starts crying. The real answer finally emerges because of curiosity and not knowing and we finally got to the heart of the issue which was the fear of losing all her friends. The other stuff was made up to justify, to confabulate some rational reason when the real reason was emotional so then I said, "How about this, how about we agree "that you go for two weeks." "I knew you'd make me!" "Just listen, just wait, you go for two weeks "and if you don't like it and you don't think you're a fit, "if you don't make new friends, we'll shift you back "to the regular high school." "Fine." So you know, six weeks later, she gets on the bus and goes to her new school and I'll never forget when she came home that afternoon, she walked through the door and she actually twirled, she did a full twirl and she said, "I have found my people." Because those are art school kids, they are just like her. In the regular high school, she didn't fit in nearly as well as she did her first day at this new place and the interesting sort of side story there is all of her grades went up, not just art, because she found a place where she felt accepted and her contributions really mattered. It would never have happened, my daughter's super stubborn, if I had pointed out the nails that second round, I'm pretty sure she would be at the regular high school right now because she's really stubborn but by being curious, by taking on the learner aspect, by asking questions verses assuming that I know the answers, great things can happen and it's really powerful.

Ratings and Reviews

Daniel Viscovich

I took away so many great insights from this class. I already know that John's discussion of Knower vs. Learner will provide great benefits for myself and anyone who watches both personally and professional. John is able to brilliantly blend science and storytelling into his discussion, which left me feeling, inspired and prepared for upgrade my relationships at home and at work. Thank you John and the team at Creative Live for this awesome course.

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