A long time ago a very clever chap called Adam Smith came to the conclusion that, inherent in almost all humans was a desire to make others happy, to feel good because somebody else does.
I was reminded of this during a recent meeting with a chap who needed my help, who wanted my help, but also wanted me to very clearly understand how important, powerful and impressive he was, I felt no rapport with him, couldn’t get past his performance, for performance it was, and ego. I left the room feeling sorry for his staff, his suppliers, his customers and probably his family. I won’t be helping him.
It’s an interesting (but rarely considered) measure for how well a meeting, a conversation, an interview has gone, I’ve observed that as someone is leaving, a room, a workshop, a meeting, shaking their hand, making eye contact and asking “did you enjoy that?” produces some really interesting reactions. It’s not what people expect, they’re primed for a platitude, a “we’ll be in touch”, a “thanks for coming”. A genuine query about their happiness invariably produces a slightly startled pause, a quick self-assessment and (mostly) a genuine reaction.
Crucially they leave actually thinking about how they feel, not their performance, not the next steps. And if I enjoyed it I tell them so.
We’re quite simple creatures, you and I, we may be awesome intellectual giants, (Well, you may be) but we still evaluate and build our relationships based on emotional responses, and I don’t know about you but happy works better for me.
Did you enjoy that?