You may not know this about me, but I am a bit of an introvert. I like being in the party but not part of it. This could be the reason I bartended in undergrad and medical school. Tending bar allowed me to people watch, something I love.
I am fascinated by human behavior and this allowed me to be in the party but not really part of it, my ideal situation hahaha
One thing about me is, while I prefer small crowds to big and alone time to company, I don’t get apprehensive like many introverts. I enjoy watching people at these events and I am fine not interacting.
What I normally do is prop myself up against a wall with a drink in hand and watch. Invariably this makes people uncomfortable and they feel they have to rescue me. It’s like they are saying, “look at this poor soul with no friends, I better go talk to him.”
As a result, I have people continually walk up to me attempting to start conversations. They don’t realize I do this by conscious choice and am actually quite happy to sit there alone in the crowd.
People always ask what I do. I tell them and then they tell me. This is usually a long rambling process and by the time we both get finished “explaining what we do,” I feel awkward for them and me. More times than not I have no idea what they did and they likewise know nothing about my background either. This is due to the rambling nature many of us have when describing what we do and who we are.
Recently I learned a great way to deal with this. I was watching a training course on communication. I forget what the technique was called, but I have taken to calling it “The Power Statement.” Here is how it works.
The Power Statement
Imagine A guy comes up to you and you ask him what he does. He says I buy and sell real estate in cities. Ok, simple enough. At least you understand what he does right? But what if instead he said, “I buy and sell skyscrapers?”
All of a sudden what he does has tremendous power doesn’t it? It’s interesting, memorable and begs for follow-up questions. When you leave you are never going to forget what he does.
More importantly than that, the power in that statement is huge for his psyche as well. It is a declarative statement of his worth. Not only does it activate his power, but the feedback he gets from others when he makes this statement bolsters the effect.
What about for me? If you asked me before this training I would say, “”I am an integrative physician who specializes in hormonal approaches to weight loss, the psychology of change and strength and conditioning.” A bit wordy and not so powerful right?
What if instead I said “I teach people how to do magic,” or “I make people’s dreams come true,” or “I am in the transformation business.” All these statements are as true as the first, but more powerful. Teaching people how to change their mindset, build a body or heal themselves is magical, transformative and a dream many have.
People who hear what I do will be intrigued and ask follow-up questions, “what do you mean? What kind of magic? Are you a magician?” I could then answer, “I teach people how to change their life. That skill is like learning magic. New skills of how to think, eat, exercise and live to change their mindset, body, health and happiness.”
The power statement makes it so the person will never forget what I do. It also attaches a profound meaning to what I have chosen as my career. That is the most important element.
Another variation of the power statement is what Daniel Pink calls the “X of Y.” This is a way of explaining what you do by attaching it to a powerful idea the person is already familiar with. For example, my company Metabolic Effect (ME) is all about helping people uncover the diet, exercise and lifestyle that works for them.
When people ask me what Metabolic Effect is I say, “we are the Sherlock Holmes of the health and fitness world.” This simple concise statement gets to the essence of the company and explains exactly what we do in a unforgettable way. This is another type of power statement.
Meaning over money
One of the things psychologist agree on is that meaning drives everything else. Nietzche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
Meaning is everything. The primary drive of every human on the planet is what Viktor Frankl called “the will to meaning.” The first step to success in any endeavor is understanding your why
and attaching the thing you want to achieve to that why. Once you do that, there is no stopping you.
The power statement is all about attaching your why to what you do. So, take a second now to reformulate your explanation of what you do. Here is how:
This is a powerful way to use the “as if principle,” the most powerful principle for change.
This concept has a lot to do with the ownership superpower. To read more about that power click the link to the blog on ownership below