“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler
Every interaction, every transaction promises some takeaway. It is up to each one of us to recognize, analyze, retain and apply. Come to think of it, each day is made up of hundreds of transactions: at home, at work, on road, with people, a book and even technology. Thanks to technology, the phrase “I don’t know” has literally become redundant. Conversations with some people make you feel so enriched and the mind goes “Wow, that’s time well spent”. There are millions of people out there, who know and who are willing to share the knowledge – up to us to reach out, learn and digest.
Recently I went on this nostalgic route with my sister in Metro to Brigade Road, Church Street, MG Road. We started off with ice creams at Lake View. Lots of shopping. And lots of eating. We purposely went to the same shops which we had frequented as teenagers 20 years back. At some places, it was touching to see the same faces, while at some the management has passed on the baton to the next generation. Despite the constant change, some things remain the same. Some things continue to exist and grow for a reason. My biggest takeaway that day – Business Sustenance. In an era where 7 out of 10 start-ups shut down, these hangouts had adapted themselves to the changing needs and are still thriving. These companies must be doing something right to survive all of these years at the same location doing the same thing. Be it their impeccable customer centricity, relevant products, fresh authentic food – multiple things which add zing to the user experience.
All of us know there are happy clients, demanding clients, whining clients, ‘just-the- right’ clients. You interact with them at various stages – and your conversations will vary from weather to products to the customer service to payments to next order to challenges to more challenges to excuses. Stop. Think. Each conversation has something to offer. Either you learn something new, you make a mental note of what should be changed, a nice tick mark of doing well, conversation tactics, gracious apology. Innumerable things. Just take that quick few seconds to sum up and take note of your TAKEAWAY from that conversation. Don’t just file it in your mind, but analyze it and start applying it.
Takeaway need not always be positive. Quite a few times there are negative takeaways as well. How not to converse. How not to project yourself. Things are always not as rosy as you want it to be – they go wrong, they don’t go as per plan, somewhere somehow maybe you lose the plot. Still as the cliché goes there is always a silver lining. There is always something to learn – some TAKEAWAY from the situation.
Learn and adapt.
And now. Just for a minute. Think the other way. We are what we are because of our vast experiences and more importantly how we have learnt and grown from those experiences – be it in our work, home, reading, travel, social life et al. We recognize, analyze, retain and apply. The person you are interacting with, will be on a constant look out for something new, something different or something to learn.
So what is your GIVEAWAY?