INsight/ Creating Defining Moments

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Manila, 21  March 2018 — All of us have experienced a defining moment in life. What if we could create them for others?

It turns out that we can if we make time for it. This is what authors Ed and Dan Heath propose in their new book The Power of Moments. 

I am intrigued by their idea, just as I was by their two earlier books, especially Switch, which was about the kind of leadership that is needed to "change things when change is hard.".

Their new book provides fresh insights to leaders. The Heath brothers—a remarkable duo of professors at two well-known universities in the US—introduce research findings that suggest that people in businesses spend 80% of their time fixing problems and only 20% of their time creating 'peak moments.' 

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The Heath brothers contend that spending more time creating peak moments—for colleagues, clients, and loved ones in life—pays off handsomely in additional revenue and better relationships.

In particular, they recommend creating four kinds of quality moments: of elevation, insight, pride, and connection. And they show, by numerous illustrative examples, that it is not difficult to do so.

Inevitably, we experience high and low moments in life. Yet we might remember them differently.

The authors recall how the brief thrill of a roller-coaster ride will be remembered, while the long time waiting in the queue will be forgotten. And they argue that peak moments can be created by enterprising people who choose to do so, at almost any moment.

Like in the example of the stewardess who made a spontaneous in-flight announcement that there were two newly-weds on board. After applause from the other passengers, she asked them to press their call button if they wanted to share a short written message of encouragement or wisdom to the couple. More than half of the passengers took her offer. The crew then distributed napkins to write on and thereby made a wedding present from the plane's passengers in half an hour.

A peak moment was created, with elements of elevation, insight, and connection.

As for me, I am going to reflect on the lessons of this book to create more quality moments for the leaders I work with in training and coaching programs. With practice, there may be more peak and defining moments.

If you will read the Heath brothers' book too, we can exchange experiences as we set out to spend more of our time creating peak moments for others. I am looking forward to doing that.