43: Tamsen Webster Helps You Share Your Voice & Message

As a professional “Idea Whisperer,” Tamsen helps organizations helps people find, build, and tell the stories of their ideas. She combined 20 years in brand and message strategy with four years as a TEDx Executive Producer to create The Red Thread™, a simple way to change how people see…and what they do as a result.

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Tamsen’s Bio:

What do Weight Watchers, ballroom dancing, marathon running, and TEDx Talks have in common? For Tamsen Webster, the answer is, “Me.” For Tamsen’s clients and audiences, the answer is the Red Thread™—the universal tie between how people see the world and what they do in it.

Part keynote speaker, part message strategist, and full-time “Idea Whisperer”, Tamsen uses her proprietary Red Thread method to help audiences, organizations, and individuals build and tell the story of their big ideas. The result? Real, transformative change.

Tamsen’s own Red Thread is woven through more than 20 years as a brand and message strategist. She holds an MBA in Management Communications and Organizational Behavior, an MA in Arts Administration (Public Relations and Crisis Communications) and bachelor’s degrees in American Studies and Marketing—but Tamsen believes she learned the most about inspiring change in her 13 years as a Weight Watchers leader.

As Executive Producer of TEDx Cambridge, one of the largest and longest-running TEDx Talks in the world, Tamsen coached everyone from a 10-year old sartorialist to a pervasive roboticist to a bioethics pioneer to build their RedThreads™ into Ideas Worth Spreading.

Now she’s a globe-hopping keynote speaker on storytelling, branding, change management, and idea development, and a go-to consultant for enterprise companies like Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and State Street Bank who want their big ideas to have an even bigger impact.

When she’s not in the spotlight—or helping others own theirs—Tamsen pursues (adequate!) ballroom dancing and runs the occasional (reluctant!) marathon. She lives in Boston with her fantastic other half, and two amazing boys with big ideas all their own.

 

Links to Tamsen:

https://tamsenwebster.com/

https://twitter.com/tamadear

https://www.facebook.com/TamsenWebster/

https://www.instagram.com/tamsenwebster/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamsenwebster/

http://youtube.com/tamsenwebster

 

Books Tamsen Recommends:

Story Smart & Story Proof by Kendall Haven
Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
Drive by Daniel Pink

 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

**IMPORTANT: This podcast episode was transcribed by a 3rd party service and so errors can occur throughout the following pages:

Mike Domitrz: Welcome to The RESPECT Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz from mikespeaks.com, where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US military, to create a culture of respect. Respect is exactly what we discuss on this show, so let’s get started.  

And this week’s guest, as a professional idea whisperer, Tamsen helps organizations, helps people find, build, and tell the stories of their ideas. She combined 20 years in brand and message strategy with four years as a TEDx executive producer, to create the Red Thread, a simple way to change how people see, and what they do as a result. Tamsen Webster, thank you so much for joining us.

Tansen Webster: I’m so excited to be here, Mike. Thanks so much for having me.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. You’re at the heart of someone sharing their message, sharing their story. Here at The RESPECT Podcast , we talk about that in terms of respect. How do you define respect?

Tansen Webster: For me, respect is about holding space for what other people are attempting to do in their journey across the earth, in whatever way that might be. What I mean by that is that I think all of us share certain key things that we’re always trying to do. I think all of us are trying to achieve certain things for ourselves or for others. There’s ways that we see the world, the ways that we frame out the problems that we try to solve. There’s certain fundamental truths that guide all of that for us. That leads to the way … All of that leads to the way that we do things.

For me, respect really comes down to taking the time to understand what is behind what someone does. It doesn’t mean you always have to agree with either how they see or what they do, but taking the time to understand, I think is one of the most respectful things that you can do.

Mike Domitrz: Awesome. Can you give me an example of how that shows in your work?

Tansen Webster: Well, I mean, a lot of times it’s actually fun because with the work that I do, particularly with … I describe the people that I work with as visionaries. They are people who have these great ideas, and they want to get them out into the world. I define an idea as a combination … of a new way to solve an old problem. You can think of any business, any book, any talk, any concept, really, as really somebody’s answer, their unique, their different answer for to how to solve a problem that has persisted for a while.

What’s so interesting to me is that with the people I work with, two different people can have very, very different approaches to solving the exact same problem. Let’s say, we’ve got two people who both have thriving business practices in helping companies with employee engagement, let’s say. In one case, somebody might say, “Well, it absolutely, positively has everything to do with the leadership and the leader’s own ability to connect with people in the workplace.” And I might have another client who says, “No, my practice is all about how the power of engagement starts with the people.”

And so, every day in my work, I get to see it almost as like a puzzle because I’ve got two people who are coming at this at a similar … trying to achieve a very similar goal with completely different approaches. My job is to figure out how to sharpen and make the messages support those approaches as clear and as irresistible to those people’s potential audience as possible.

And sometimes, frankly, the people that I work with, I’m like, “I don’t agree with you.” But that’s my job. My job is to make it so that their message is clear and compelling to their audience, to their people, to their clients and customers. I don’t think you can help somebody be clear about their message if you don’t honor and respect where that idea, where that message, what all those motivations were in the first place. And generally, when you find those motivations, there’s always something to respect in it, is what I’ve found.

Mike Domitrz: Yes. What’s unique about that is the balance and the integration of both the respect of where that comes from, and how you respectfully fit that into your audience’s world, because they don’t have to care. I tell speakers all this time, when I meet people, they’re like, “Oh, I’m so passionate about blah, blah, blah,” and I said, “Yep, that doesn’t mean the audience is. They’re not paid to like you, agree with you, share your passion. It’s your job to figure out and respect their world in such a way that you can connect yours to theirs.”

Tansen Webster: That’s right. That’s right.

Mike Domitrz: So many people just want to get up and … And you know this. People who are new to speaking, or even some who have been at it a long time, or people who have never spoke, will be like, “Oh, I want to share my story,” and they think it’s all about sharing their story, and they forget about the other side. That’s where respect shows up. Are you respecting the people you’re sharing it with? I love that you do this. How do you help them come to that grasp, to, “Hey, this isn’t just sharing your story. You have to respect how people are going to hear it, take it in, how they’re going to connect to it.”

Tansen Webster: Yeah, absolutely. The first place, actually, is I start by respecting that person who has come to me, that client to come to me to say … I always start with, “Well, what is the thing that you want to get out there? What is that message that you’ve tried to get across? What is the story that you’re trying to tell?” Because I need to hear it, so that I can understand okay what is it? And then oftentimes, the very next question is, “And now what do you want it to do? What impact are you hoping that this message, this story, your product, your service, whatever, has on the world?”

And then the very next … Once I understand what they want, what they have, and what their motivations are, this is my client, then the next thing I’m trying to figure out … and this is where we go next, and then I keep their feet to the fire here … is now we define who that message is actually for. Sometimes people think, “Well, why don’t you just skip to like why the people would care?” It’s frankly because I’ve found over and over again that if you don’t stop and figure out precisely who your message is for, then it’s very, very difficult to have the clarity that you need about why would they care.

So, I often will work with clients to get to a point where they’re identifying a single person, and I don’t mean a persona, I mean, an actual person, that this message is really for. Counterintuitively, what I’ve found over and over again, is that the narrower you go when you plan the message, the broader the reach that message will have. It’s incredibly counterintuitive, but it’s because … It works, because you get that kind of clarity. You know who it’s for.

Once you know who it’s for, then we start the process saying, “Okay, I know what you want them to do, but we have to think of …” Let’s say you’re coming to me, Mike, with your message, and I say, “Okay …” So, whatever your message is, that’s your answer. The thing that we have to figure out is what question is your audience, or your clients and customers, what question are they currently asking, for which your message will be the answer? That ends up being a really tricky question sometimes for people. That in and of itself becomes a tricky question for people to answer, because they keep wanting to answer with what question they think people should be asking.

Mike Domitrz: Yes.

Tansen Webster: So, we keep going to like, “No, no, no. What questions are they asking?” Some people this is a much more natural process for it than others. And sometimes this is really sticky for them, where I’m sitting with them and we’re working quite a long time until we find precisely why is it that somebody is asking for that.

As an example, you mentioned that I have this Red Thread … That’s the methodology that I use, I developed and I use, but I know that unless you already know me, and know what I do, you are not asking the question, “What’s my red thread?” I may know and believe, based on my work, that that potentially is the answer to what you are asking, but most of the time, what people are asking me for is, “I need to make my message more clear. I need to make my message more compelling. I need to pivot my message. I know my message works right now, but I need to pivot it some place else.” That’s what they’re looking for. They’re looking for a clearer, more compelling, or a new message that’s going to help them achieve whatever they’re trying to achieve.

And then it’s my job … and this is actually all of our jobs, when we have a message trying to go out the marketplace. It’s my job to move that person along a thought process that gets them to go, “Oh, what I really need is X.” That’s the process, but it starts with respecting what question that person is asking already.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, I can think of, for our listeners, kind of the example in my line of work, people think, “When a person comes into the room, Mike, what question are they asking?” And the speaker can make the mistake of, “Oh, how do I ask for a kiss?” They are not thinking that when they walk into a room with me, at all. They’re actually thinking, “Why the heck am I in this room?”

Tansen Webster: Exactly.

Mike Domitrz: And so, I have to know that’s their question before I even start, versus, “Oh, how do I get them to ask for a kiss?” No, no. I got to first help them understand why they’re in the room. Then we can move into some other questions, but that’s where people make the mistake of thinking, “Oh, they all want to learn what I’m teaching.” No, they might be-

Tansen Webster: No they don’t.

Mike Domitrz: … ticked off they’re in the room. And they might be ticked off they’re in the room. That’s a bigger question.

Tansen Webster: That’s right.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, I love this. You referred to the Red Thread. I think for all of our listeners to keep in mind that might be going, “If I’m not a speaker, how does this apply to me?” It applies to you if you even have a passion for wanting to make a difference in this world in any way it is that you would share that passion. It could be that you’re an author or speaker, an executive, who-

Tansen Webster: Entrepreneur.

Mike Domitrz: Right.

Tansen Webster: I would say 90% of my work is with entrepreneurs of some sort. It’s less about speaking. I mean, I think where the speaking piece comes in is that words are the currency of ideas. You have to be able to talk about your idea in order for it to have impact. And so, we end up often talking about it from the language of speaking or storytelling, but truly, it’s about is your message clear enough to have the impact that you want it to have? Almost always, the answer is not quite.

Mike Domitrz: Right. And so you have the formula. You have the Red Thread formula for that.

Tansen Webster: It’s something that I have found through research and experience. I developed it out of research, tested it and tried through, now hundreds of clients. It is a way that helps pull people above where they operate all the time. What I mean is this. We come to our view of the world, our ideas, our messages, however. We come to them … We don’t normally notice the path that we’re walking as we’re walking it, right? We don’t really pay attention to anything until we actually come upon this idea that we want to get out there, or this product that we want to sell, or this service that we want to offer. That’s very natural, but the problem is that in order for people to reach the same conclusion about the idea that you did, they have to walk the same path.

And so, what the Red Thread really is, is a very simple way to allow you to recreate, in your own mind, what steps made this idea of yours irresistible you in the first place, so that you can recreate those steps in the minds of your clients, customers, audience, et cetera.

Mike Domitrz: Brilliant. And in the work you do, you do get to meet people from all walks of life, all different perspectives, belief systems. Like you said, there may … You could work with somebody like me, and you could work with somebody who teaches mostly the opposite of what I believe in. It’s possible that those could be your same clients.

When you’re dealing with so many diversity in the clientele and the people you’re trying to help, what is the key to mutual respect?

Tansen Webster: Well, I think some of your listeners may be familiar with kind of the classic … I was an organizational behavior concentration in my MBA, lo, these many years ago, and a classic book, at least in those days, was this book on negotiations called Getting to Yes. Even if you haven’t read the book, you probably have heard this idea of when it comes to negotiating difficult or conversations, that we need to move beyond positions and discover interests. Instead of saying, “Well, I’m on this side and you’re on that side,” it’s about getting to, “Okay, but what are you looking for in that? Why are you saying, ‘This is your side versus that side’? What are you trying to get out of being on this side or that side of a particular issue?”

Let’s say we’re talking about a negotiation between labor and management, for instance, and it’s about extending work hours, and you’ve got management that’s for it, and labor that’s against it, and this book originally talked about moving from those positions to the interests behind them to find more common ground.

Now I introduce this because what I’ve found over and over in my work is that those interests come from some place, too. Beneath positions are interests, and beneath interests are principles. Those principles operate like an operating system, like a computer’s code, right? It’s the code that makes your computer function the way it does, look the way it does, et cetera. But you don’t often see the code unless something goes wrong or you want to change how it operates or looks. The same thing is true when we’re talking about messages, is that if I’m trying to understand where someone’s coming from and what they’re trying to do, what I’m trying to do is go beyond the position, which is really if you think about it this way, their position is what do you think someone should do is the message. It’s the message of their message.

The interest is like what’s their motivation behind the message. And then the principles, which is really what, for me, the Red Thread is designed to uncover, is what are the baseline assumptions that somebody is operating from that dictate why they have those interests and therefore those positions in the first place.

When I’m dealing with all of this diversity in the clients that I have and the audiences they’re talking to … And what’s fascinating to me is … You can’t do this work without having a fair number of people who come in from a faith-based position, but I have people who are evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews. I mean, it’s just fascinating to me.

Mike Domitrz: Yes.

Tansen Webster: But the work that I do is to say, “What are the principles upon which this message is based?” And then, what we’re trying to do is figure out which of those principles exists in the audiences, the clients, and the customers they’re trying to talk to. And frankly, what principles are consistent with … Do I understand those principles when it comes to me and my approach, as well? There are certain conditions under which I will not work with someone, because at that principle level, it’s not that I don’t respect that they have it, that idea, or that position, where all the stuff that that comes into. It, for some reason, to me, makes it mean that I can’t serve them the way that I think they deserve to be served. Like, just because there’s too much of a gap there.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, too much of a disalignment in you.

Tansen Webster: Yeah.

Mike Domitrz: In the materials you had sent me in advance before we talked, you refer to worldview, components of worldview. That’s really what we’re describing now is somebody’s worldview, and how they view their world, and how you view your world, and the differences there. And so, that absolutely, as we’re describing this, brings that mutual respect, is understanding each others’ world views, and the components that come into that. How do you think organizations and individuals in organizations, can help increase a culture of respect with that understanding worldview?

Tansen Webster: Well, I think when it comes to increasing the culture of respect, it starts with identifying, at a company level, what those components are. What is it that the company is trying to do? Who are they trying to do it for, for and foremost? Second, what are they trying to help those people accomplish? Again, what question are their customers and clients asking that the company exists to answer? Second, how does the company see the world from a … What’s the perspective that they take on that? What is the common or conventional, or market perspective, and then what’s the company’s perspective on that?

And then critically, then comes, what are the truths of the company. Another way to think of this is what are the values, the beliefs, the kind of proprietary knowledge that the company has that explains why they have the perspective that they do, and that explain why they take the approach that they take in delivering these answers for their chosen clients and customers.

Now, the reason why it really is all those pieces together … I mean, I’d love to say that worldview is this one thing, but it’s not. It really is this combination of what are you trying to accomplish. What’s the goal? What’s that kind of difference in perspective that exists? What are these truths that guide it? Those three things altogether dictate what the ultimate change is that needs to happen, or the change that a company, for instance, represents in the marketplace.

The issue, when it comes to building a culture of respect, is sometimes just simply surfacing that worldview, those components of the code, in other words, I think a lot of times, A, companies don’t even really know it. They kind of know what they do but they don’t stop back and go, “What actually … Why are we doing this?”

Simon Sinek was brilliant enough to say, “Okay, we need to start with why,” but what I have found over and over again is that a lot of times companies and individuals, even, don’t understand the whys behind their why. Like, why is that your why? If you can understand that, then that’s something you communicate. That’s something that people can then see and reflect on. I think that’s where you get that … That’s where you start to build that culture of respect because people can start to see what their own takes on each of those components are.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, what I love about this is it’s in alignment with everything we said at the beginning, which how does a person tell their story. Everything’s the same that we just answered about a company. You have to understand why the listener, why you, why would they listen. It’s all the same thing for an organization. What’s your why? Why would they listen? And so, I think that’s so important for listeners to understand. There’s no difference. Whether you are trying to share your personal beliefs in a one-on-one conversation, from a stage, or from a company perspective, the formula is the same.

Tansen Webster: Exactly. Because it’s how … It is the code of our worldview. It is the link between how we see and what we do. It’s universal. Nothing happens at the market level or the audience level that doesn’t happen at the individual level first. I think this is something that speakers, marketers, company leaders get wrong all the time. They try to speak to the group. You need to speak to the individual mind in that group. Once you understand the individual mind in that group and how that individual mind comes to understand, how and individual mind … like what they need to process a message, nothing will ever work at the group level because there really is … The way I’ve been thinking about it lately, there really is like a minimum viable message. There’s minimum components that have to be there in order for someone to truly understand and work with it.

And so, when it comes to building cultures of respect, when it comes to spreading your message, or your idea, or your product or your service out there, no matter what your listeners may be doing with it, we have to understand … We have to understand what those components are so that we make sure that we craft our message in a way that has the effect on the individual that we’re looking for. That’s the only way we get it to work at that kind of big, broad market or group level.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, something we say on the show a lot that culture is singular, not plural. That is that it has to start with the individual, always. Referring to that, disrespect in corporate environment, or even in individual environments, personal relationships, can often just be a misunderstanding of worldviews.

Tansen Webster: Oh, absolutely.

Mike Domitrz: And so, sometimes people will think I need to change their worldview. Well, right there, that could be a sign of disrespect, you know, that you need to change them, that you have the power … it’s your job to do that, your role to do that … can be dangerous in of itself. But let’s say that you want to positively open up the possibility of somebody’s worldview being transformed a little bit, how do you do that in a way that maintains respect on both sides?

Tansen Webster: That’s such an important question. Let me go a little bit deeper, if I may, on this idea of going into these principles that are beneath the interests and the positions, because that’s essentially what happens. You’re right. When there’s disrespect, it’s usually because there’s these misaligned worldviews, and we’re mad, essentially, or we’re offended that somebody doesn’t follow the same rules for looking at the world that we do. So when we’re trying to either find the common ground or shift … That’s usually what we’re going to say, “I need them to see this differently.” We have to understand which of the components of the worldviews change quickly, and which ones don’t.

Two that I mentioned do not change quickly. The first one is what people’s goals are. What I mean by that is what people want. What are they trying to get? Sometimes that’s to achieve a thing. Sometimes it’s to avoid a thing. Sometimes it’s to solve a problem. Sometimes it’s to meet an unmet need. You know, there’s something that people want. And people don’t un-want things that they want quickly. I mean, I often make the very serious joke of like I love cake. I’m not going to not want cake. This was part of the reason why I was 50 pounds overweight 20 years ago, but my whole life was about figuring out, all right, how can I lose weight with cake and figured that piece out. Once I learned that lesson, by the way, that is part of the origin story of the Red Thread.

But the other thing that doesn’t change quickly is-

Mike Domitrz: Now I have to pause. For the listeners … You know what this is. This is a red herring. The listener’s going …

Tansen Webster: Wait, what?

Mike Domitrz: “Yeah, wait a second.” Did you realize I can’t have red cake? Or did you realize, no, I can moderate? Which was the answer for you?

Tansen Webster: Well, the answer was I could moderate. And so, the way I talk about it is like what I wanted, of course, was to lose weight, but I wanted to lose weight by feeling like a normal person. Until I understood how I could find a way that worked for me to moderate, then I was struggling, and I did, for a number of years.

Let me talk about the other pieces, because the second thing that doesn’t change quickly is your belief, the things you believe. If you believe in the Golden Rule, or you believe in … I don’t know, that the sky is blue, like these are things that you’re not going to readily un-believe until … It doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen, but it takes a lot longer to change.

The thing is when I was overweight, I was of the belief that the only way to lose weight was to just eat less, but that went against my goal of feeling like a normal person, because it meant … I took it to mean that I couldn’t have cake. I think this happens a lot when we’re trying to get somebody else to see something differently, to change their worldview, a lot of times what we’re trying to do is to say, “Well, you don’t want that. You want this other thing.” And that’s not true. No, they want what they want. You need to respect what it is they want.

Or, what we’re trying to do is get them to say, “Well, that’s a silly belief. You shouldn’t believe that.” But they do believe it, right? There’s no better example of that than whatever side of the political aisle you may be on, how most people look at how people on the other side … how they look at those basic beliefs that are driving that position for them. Because a lot of times … and I hear it all the time. People are like, “How could you possibly believe X?” And it’s like well, that’s actually not the question to ask because they do believe X. If you’re trying to get someone to behave differently, act differently, think differently, you have to figure out what is something else that they believe that puts enough pressure on how they’re looking at the situation, that they’ll shift the perspective because the perspective, of those three components, of goals, perspectives, and beliefs, perspective is the only thing that can change in an instant.

I’ll go back to Weight Watchers for … well, this how I lost my weight. I’ll go back to weight loss as an example. Because what happened when the first day that I walked into Weight Watchers … And let me just be clear, this is not an endorsement of Weight Watchers. What I’m about to say is true of kind of any approach to weight loss, is that what I learned is that all food could be given an objective number value. I had a number value. The food had a number value. For Weight Watchers, that was points. All food had a point value. I had, let’s say, 28 points that I could eat in a day. But you can do this with net carbs or even just calories, right? You say, food has X number of calories, and the recommended daily allowance for calories is somewhere between 1800 and 2000, whatever.

Once I understood that, and I looked at the fact … And I still wanted to lose weight with cake, it became impossible for me to only look at the quantity of the food that I was eating because I discovered, for instance, that equal quantities of food could have very, very different point values. For instance, at least as Weight Watchers count it, like a cup of grapes would be … or two cups of grapes would be zero points, woohoo. If you’re having a 28 point day, you’re like, I’ve eating a lot of grapes, but two cups of raisins, which are fundamentally the same as grapes, but two cups of raisins would be 23 points.

So, if I had 28 points in a day, then all of a sudden I was like, “Wait, it can’t just be quantity. I also need to look at the nature of the food itself, the quality of the food itself.” And by the way, I discovered that something else with 23 points was cake, so yeah for that. But it meant that now I could figure out if I had 28 points in a day and I wanted a piece of cake, that it probably meant that the rest of the day I was eating things like grapes, but it allowed me to figure out how to moderate within a belief that was either, in this case, easy for me to adopt, or it was something that I already knew to be true. I already knew that food had an objective measure. I just needed a way to make it framed for me.

When somebody else has a different point of view, or if you’re talking about in the market, they don’t yet see your point of view as a speaker or as a company, the key is A, as we said before, starting with something that they already want, for the reason we already said, because they’re not going to readily un-want that. The second thing is to figure out where is their current perspective on that, and what is your perspective on that, because what you’re trying to do is expand their perspective to include yours. What I mean is you’re not trying to get them to look somewhere differently. You’re trying to get them to focus some place else in what they’re already looking at. So it’s like, okay, I was looking at food, but I was looking at the quantity of food, and I wasn’t also looking at the nature of that food, so what I needed was to be able to expand that perspective to include something else.

So I like to say, it’s not that somebody else has an incorrect perspective, because they have good reasons for having it. They have an incomplete perspective. And that when you take both sides together then the picture becomes whole. And then the third piece is what we talked about before, is to find a belief that they already have, that you also already have, that explains why that perspective, that second perspective needs to be there. All right?

Okay, now this all sounds very complicated, so I’m going to take it and make it super simple by giving an example that everybody’s familiar with in the marketplace, and that is the brilliance of the campaign from 1947 of De Beers Diamonds that a diamond is forever. Prior to that campaign, people didn’t necessarily give engagement rings, and if they did, it wasn’t necessarily a diamond. With De Beers owning the monopoly on diamonds, that’s obviously a thing that they wanted to change, but they couldn’t just go out there and be like, “Well, buy diamond rings,” because people would be like, “Well, I don’t want to buy a diamond ring. That’s not a current want that I have.” But a current want that people did have is to have the best symbol of the commitment they were about to make.

And the perspective that, consciously or not, that De Beers was trying to expand was first, of course, people were saying the perspective is that a ring is what matters, so the symbol is the ring, right? And the perspective they wanted to shift was like well, it’s not just the ring that matters. There’s actually the kind of ring that matters is what they were trying to get people to go to. And so, what they did was they introduced this brilliant tagline, “A diamond is forever,” which is a belief that people already had. And then they brought it in to this kind of other set of beliefs, right? If I want a symbol of my commitment, and I believe that the ring matters, that’s goal, perspective, if I now also agree that a diamond is forever, which most people would … engineers argue with me. They’re like, “Well, technically, you could destroy a diamond.” Okay, I know.

But if you agree that a diamond is forever, and you still want the best symbol of your commitment, and you think that symbol is a ring, you’re not going to say, “Well, honey, I don’t know, the stats aren’t great. Should we go for amethyst?” That’s not … No. You’re not going to do that. You’re going to say, “Well, if I believe that our commitment is forever, and that a diamond is forever, then I am more likely to want a diamond on that ring.”

And so, this is this kind of … When we’re trying to figure out how to respectfully shift how somebody sees a situation, this is what I’ve found is the way to do it is to operate within their existing goals and beliefs. There is a change that makes sense to them in their perspective. And yet, at the same time, and I think this is what’s so important to me about this approach, is that it keeps the agency of that decision with the other person the entire time. Like, I’m not telling you to buy a diamond. De Beers didn’t tell anybody to buy a diamond. They allowed you to say, okay, of what you believe, what’s your conclusion here? And of course, there’s still plenty of people who are like, “Well, I’m not going to buy a diamond because I don’t believe in … I know what they’re trying to do to me. I’m not taking a De Beers. I’m going to do something else.” Whatever. But you see how the agency is still with the audience. It’s still with the client. It’s still with the customer. And I think that’s really important.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. This is awesome. I want to thank you because I think our listeners can think, “Hey, how can I do this in my organization? How can I do this is my one-on-one conversations?” So thank you so much, Tamsen, for sharing back, pulling back some layers for us to think about.

Tansen Webster: You’re welcome.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely.

Tansen Webster: I’m stuffed.

Mike Domitrz: Well, and so for our listeners who wanted to be able to find you, that’s tamsenwebster.com. Tamsen’s T-A-M-S-E-N webster.com, and of course all of that will be in our show notes. We’ll also have books that Tamsen recommends. So, Tamsen, thank you so much for joining us today.

Tansen Webster: Oh, you’re so welcome, Mike. Thanks so much for having me.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. For our listeners, you know what’s coming next. That’s question of the week.

Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast, The RESPECT Podcast  with Mike Domitrz? By subscribing, you can make huge impact. Now, you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show on the search engines. So, for people who care about respect, like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcasts, they’re more likely to find this show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

Plus, the second benefit is by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone, or whatever device you are listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically, so subscribing also makes your life easier.

Now, let’s get in to this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook in our discussion group. It’s called The RESPECT Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show, and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

This week’s question is, “Mike, who is your favorite author?” Well, current author, that would be an easy one for me to answer. It’s Brené Brown. I just find her writing, the way she talks, to be very relatable. I can feel like I’m having a conversation with someone, but also it relates to me personally, and makes me think and open my mind to how I choose to act, how I choose to be present in the world for both others and myself. That’s Brené Brown, B-R-E-N-E … B-R-E-N-E, that’s Brené, and then Brown, just like it sounds. B-R-O-W-N. Brené Brown.

Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. Would you please answer what your answer would’ve been if you were asked that question today on the show? All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called The RESPECT Podcast Discussion Group. The RESPECT Podcast Discussion Group, and share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week. And, if take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook in our special group which is The RESPECT Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Respect Podcast, which was sponsored by the Date Safe Project at datesafeproject.org. And remember, you can always find me at mikespeaks.com.

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