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A Relationship Story: How Do You Learn?

I’ll just bet you will be able to relate to this story in one way or another.

Some people, like my wife, Laura, would describe themselves as being “visual learners” – they need to see things to understand them.

That is definitely not me.

Our daughter, Katie, learns another way entirely. She takes amazingly copious notes – I remember when she was in college, she would create an outline that was longer than the paper she wrote.

That’s not me either.

I’ve always known that I am an auditory learner. I just can’t take notes, because it makes it hard to really listen. Seeing things is fine, but it doesn’t really process. I need to hear it.

However, I just realized something new, as a friend was taking me on a tour of his cool company, describing the walk-through as the only way he (another visual learner) can really absorb new things.

I realized, based on a recent amazing experience getting to know a new client in the Midwest by visiting and spending 1½ days with them, that I cannot really understand any environment without having a meaningful relationship with the people involved. I think that I am really a “relationship learner”. Can you relate?

Let me share an example: Sometimes, in my executive search practice, a prospective client will ask for written materials on our firm and our practice, and then they decide on their search firm choice without asking to meet.

Of course, they could already have a good prior relationship with another provider, but it just seems impossible (at least to me) that a trust-based service like ours could ever be bought based only on what someone reads.

Maybe I’m nuts, or maybe I’m just weird for being a “relationship learner”, but for me, nothing ever really matters without a relationship. Happily, a lot of wonderful companies feel the same way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these ideas.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always. Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.