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

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]
Comments Off on The psychology of perception

It’s how you say it that’s important

It’s how you say it that’s important. Are you aware that something like 80% of the impact of a message is conveyed in how you say it ?  Sure the actual words are important, but actually as humans we are all perceptive around people’s vocal tone, their energy level and their level of enthusiasm.

Vocal tone is important in your interaction with customers

Vocal tone is important in your interaction with customers

The minute you walk into a shop and the person says “good morning” you know instantly whether they mean it or not !

One of our newly released audio CD titles covers the training topics of Expression, Energy and Emphasis. You can find it here http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=30.

It guides you through understanding that you can tell 40+ things about a total stranger who you can’t even see from as little as 6 words. The CD explains all of this and relates moods to colours !

We’ve also added a currency coverter to the site recently so that our customers from the United States can order easily, and know the exact price at the point of order.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

How does your voice sound ? Are you red or pink & fluffy ?!

Your vocal tone on the phone gives away far more about you than you will ever realise. Of course it is all the other person has to go on. They will build up a mental picture of you by your voice and of course what you say. This extends to all manner of other things. They’ll get an idea about how tall you are, the colour of your hair, what your body shape is like, how old you are, even how attractive you are ! All from your voice !

There will be a newly issued audio CD early next year about the use of Expression, Energy and Emphasis. This has proved challenging to develop as most of the work To Market does on customer service and telesales training on this topic has to be carried out in a very interactive way. It also makes it stick ! Follow the link to http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=TELEPHONE%20COMMUNICATION%20SKILLS

Most of you who have been through this section of the course will remember the grey person, the red person plus of course pink & fluffy and the brown man ! So make sure that you are totally focused when you’re on the phone to your customers and prospects on what is going on in your head. If you’re having a bad day, or you are preoccupied with things outside of work, chances are this emotional leakage will be picked up by the stranger at the end of the line.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]
Comments Off on How does your voice sound ? Are you red or pink & fluffy ?!

Avoid mixed messages – check their understanding

One of the easiest traps to fall into – particularly if you supply a technical or complicated product or service is to assume that everyone else knows as much about it as you do. Remember that you talk about your products and services all day every day, and so you’re well versed in what they are. However for some of your customers of course, they may only enter the market every few years, and so their knowledge may be patchy.

One of the modules To Market www.tomarket.co.uk covers on training is mixed messages. This is all about understanding that the message you send is not necessarily the same message they receive. There will be an audio CD on this subject released on this among the next batch, likely to be available during Q1 next year 2009. You will be able to find it by following this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=TELEPHONE%20COMMUNICATION%20SKILLS as it will be among the telephone communication skills section.

So remember to ask questions of the person you are talking to. This will keep them involved in the communication process and will help you get clear on whether they understand what you are saying. Don’t work on the assumption that they will ask if they don’t understand either, as most people don’t do this. It’s a bit like ‘the Emperor’s new clothes.’ People don’t like to look silly. Rather than ask, they will simply lose interest.

Another tip is to describe things in a colourful way, use other everyday examples of simple things which we can all relate to. These mental pictures often stick with people longer than the actual message ! 

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]
Comments Off on Avoid mixed messages – check their understanding

Use lots of acknowledgement on the telephone

Geraldine Evans contributed this one for the pot. She attended a 2 day customer service telephone communications skills course with us earlier this year in Leicester.  Her advice is ;  “Always make the customer aware that you are listening by acknowledging them at every opportunity and to re-cap what is to be done – this shows the customer that you are ‘taking on board’ the entire issue.”  

This is one of the 10 Elements of Communication that we cover on telephone techniques training. You can find out more by following this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=12

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]
Comments Off on Use lots of acknowledgement on the telephone