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Generally, people learn in two ways through intellect and through experience. In our school system, former predominates, but it's latter that is most powerful in terms of inducing a deep sharing of emotions and ideas, because our experiences, which can be life's teachings, often lead us to profound awareness and purposeful action.
Look back at your schooling. Which do you remember most, your book learning or your experiences, your interactions with teachers and students? In most cases, people say their experiences made strongest impressions on them; they remembered them long after book knowledge had faded.
This is where defining moment comes in. Its function is simple: to provide a communion of experience with you and people you lead, so those people will be as motivated as you are to meet challenges you face.
The process of developing a defining moment is simple, too: put a particular experience of yours, a defining moment, into sharp focus, and then transmit that focused experience into hearts of audience so they feel experience as theirs. Out of that shared feeling they can be ardently motivated to take action for results. It's easy, and it's a game changer.
But if you don't get defining moment right, it can backfire. In fact, you could wind up having people motivated against you. So follow carefully as I show you precise steps in developing and transmitting defining moments.
Take first step in mastering defining moment. Review experiences from your past. Don't try to figure out how to use them or how they relate to developing and communicating a defining moment.
They needn't be wrenching, shattering experiences; everyday experiences will do. They don't need to have taken place recently; you might want to look back upon experiences from your youth. Finally, they don't need to have taken place in an organizational context. Look at every aspect of your life. Any of your experiences, at any time, anywhere, can make a good defining moment.
Make sure, however, that it is your experience (I'll say more about this in Part Two.) and be aware of difference between personal and private experiences. Usually, our personal experiences are those we can share with others, and our private experiences are those we want to keep to ourselves. The dividing line between personal and private is embarrassment. If you would in any way be embarrassed talking about experience with others don't use it.
In Part Two, I will show you how to put together a defining moment to communicate.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at www.actionleadership.com