21
Sep

The psychology of perception

This tale is all about PERCEPTION

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.

During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.
About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.

He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.
Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

  • This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

  • In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
  • If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
  • Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
     

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Joshua Bell at  Metro station

How do you perceive the things around you?

We understand that a lot of what we do in life is about presenting ourselves and what we can do in ways that make others perceive us positively.  

Associated Learning Systems offers a range of training CDs on telephone and communication skills for telesales, customer service and telemarketing personnel – aware that people prefer to trade with people they like. Make sure that’s you!

Find out more about our range of audio training products www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk

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04
Oct

Polari – you probably speak it already but don’t know it

Polari – you probably speak it already but don’t know it. Admittedly this site is all about verbal communication skills and self-development, so writing about a little known form of slang from London in the 1950s and 60s may seem a little tenuous. However I think this form of language has passed into modern English with most of us never being aware of it.

How many times have you used the word balonie for something which is rubbish ? Or bijou in place of the word small? Or even slap for make-up ladies, or ogle for admire boys? All of these terms are Polari.

polari on the radio

Polari - humorous dialect fading from use

Polari was a language which grew in theatrical and homosexual circles in London in the 50s and 60s. It is a mix of Romany, itlaian, Yiddish, heatre-speak, naval slang and back slang. It first entered the British consciousness through the BBC’s radio programme ‘Round the Horne’ which starred Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick.

Other well known bits of Polari include ;

  • bona nochi = goodnight
  • cackle = talk or gossip
  • clobber = clothes
  • fantabulosa = excellent
  • mince = to walk effeminately
  • scarper = to run off

I would bet that you’ve used many bits of Polari in your life and yet you may not have heard of it. Well know you know.

For lots more examples of Polari in everyday use follow this link to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polari

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02
May

Think about who your telesales call is to

Empathise and think about who you’re calling and why.  When conducting telesales calls to organisations, it is important to understand your demographic, your target market. Find out when they are busy, when things go quiet. These are all things you can build on for the future.   Work hard to get your timings right, and to build a picture of when the best time is to contact them. So for instance if you’re trying to contact a school – the middle of summer is probably not a good time. Also research through use of your questioning skills, what quantities they buy, who they buy from, and what they think of their supplier. You may also want to find out what is important to them when choosing a supplier, and even what would make them change. Be bold – ask some good questions. http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=3      Thanks to Riz for this point. She was on a course earlier this year on telesales training in Leicestershire.

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