A listening epiphany, the romantic lie & Adam Grant's tips for cold emails
👋 Hey, y’all,
Three thing you should know, in three minutes or less:
1. A listening epiphany
Despite having studied listening for years, I had an epiphany last week.
I learned it in a coaching class I’m taking in the Stanford MBA program, where we’re using Co-Active Coaching as the course book.
Most of the time, we listen at Level I.
We hear the words, but then we translate it to what it means for ourselves. “I had that experience,” or “That made me think of…” or “What’s for lunch?”
The common sense tips for active listening reflect Level II listening.
We keep eye contact. Lean forward and nod. Paraphrase.
When you connect at Level II, it’s as if the message is “I have time for you.” Not just “I have time to address the problem” but “I have time for you.”
There’s a Level III of listening.
Level III awareness is sometimes described as environmental listening. (…) Is the coachee’s energy sparking or flat? Is she cool, distant, . . . or on fire? Like a butterfly ready to fly off?
As I’ve started practicing, I’m seeing how much more there is to notice. Try it out?
2. The romantic lie
We think our desires are our own. That they’re authentic. That they show who we truly are. But it’s a lie:
This assumption that my desires are all my own—this story that I tell myself—is what the French social scientist René Girard calls “The Romantic Lie.”
We don’t choose our desires independently.
The Lie is that I want things independently, or that I choose all of the objects of my desire out of some kind of secret desire chamber in my heart— that I know a good thing when I see it; that I know what’s desirable and what’s not, unaided.
Instead, we want what others want.
Mimetic desire means that we make many of our choices according to the desires of others—our models.
What does this mean for your career aspirations? What status, material rewards, or promotions, do you want because others want them?
3. How to write an email which gets Adam Grant to reply
Adam Grant’s my hero.
He’s an organizational psychologist at Wharton, the author of the incredible books Give and Take, Originals, and Think Again, and has 5+ million followers on LinkedIn.
No doubt his inbox gets crowded with random requests.
He wrote the post 6 Ways to Get Me to Email You Back, with timeless advice for writing cold emails that get replies.
“Perfect the subject line” (the best ones offer both utility and intrigue)
“Tell them why you chose them: (be specific, really — why them?)
“Show that you’ve done your homework” (people are more inclined to help those who have tried to help themselves)
“Highlight uncommon commonalities” (we like those similar to ourselves, and the effect is stronger when we what we share is uncommon)
“Make your request specific, and keep it short and sweet”
“Express gratitude” (the research is convincing; thank yous make a huge difference)
What did you think of this new format?
PS: Check out all previous posts on https://www.learnwithkat.com/.
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