Listen for a few seconds to this:
What’s your opinion? Beautiful noise or nails on chalkboard?
Depending on how your brain is wired, you might have found this incredibly pleasing like an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) or it may have made you want to yell, kick or scream like a sufferer of misophonia listening to a family member eat a salad.
The sounds of sincere connection
To me, the audio was beautiful. What you heard was the sound of 8 pairs of strangers getting to know one another. It sounded like a stimulating cocktail party. The social lubricant for these conversations was our empathy-building game, Lifeology™.
Facilitating a recent session, I stepped back to let people play the game, answering questions about their philosophy toward life and more practical topics, like how they do their shopping. Standing in the corner of the room, I heard the cacophony of voices and within it, I felt a sense of calm. What soothed me was the harmony of the conversations. Each of the 8 had a different pitch and inflection, depending on what they were talking about, but they all came together with the lively energy of new connections being formed. Walking around the room, I could focus my attention to hear bits and pieces of the conversations. It was the sound of people coming together and forming connections.
Harmonization is what I love about Lifeology™ – through something as simple as a board game, strangers are brought together and allowed to get to know one another in a very real way. Bridges of understanding are built by answering questions about life. Some of the questions are straight-forward, “Which do you prefer, Walmart or Target?” and others are more philosophical, “What advice would you give to your younger self about your future?” Even the straight-forward questions reveal a lot about a person and their view of the world. The social aspect of playing the game helps you strip away superficial demographics, uncovering common ground or at least an understanding of how someone views the world. And because it is being shared in a non-threatening way – at a table, over a board game as opposed to being tweeted or posted online – each player is more receptive to the information being shared.
Lifeology™ 2018 remix
Among the harmonious chatter were answers to some new questions! We updated the original 2013 edition to reflect life in 2018. New questions addressed:
Changes in technology and our reliance on apps to navigate life
The impact of online shopping to the retail landscape, and how shoppers choose what and when to shop online vs. in a brick and mortar location
Binge-watching content vs. serialized shows doled out once a week. Understanding the facets of binging is critical, even with older demos, if you are hoping for them to see your advertising.
Next time you find yourself situated amidst a lot of chatter – whether it’s at a restaurant or a party or even on public transportation – step back and really listen to the noise. Can you hear the harmony of connection in it? Or is it just cacophonous? When you focus in on it, what do you pick up? Is it ASMR or misophonia for you?
What does connection with your consumer sound like? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk more about Lifeology™ with your team.