Author Jon Gordon discusses the importance of getting your players to gain perspective through Feeling versus just Hearing. You can read more of Jon’s inspiring messages at www.JonGordon.com.
When I visited West Point awhile back the USA basketball team happened to be visiting at the same time. Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) brought the team there to understand what it truly means to represent the United States of America.
Coach K knew the place was special. After all, he attended West Point, played basketball there under Bob Knight, returned as the head coach after his five years of military service and coached there for five years before becoming the head coach of Duke.
But Coach K knew the players wouldn’t fully understand how special the place was by just talking about it. They had to experience and feel it. He said, “You can’t talk about this place, see a movie about this place – you have to feel this place. You go to a place like this, you get it.”
Coach K knew it was the same when talking about service and sacrifice. He couldn’t just talk about it. The players had to feel it.
So at the beginning of their visit, Coach K brought the team to the West Point Cemetery where they had a meeting with family members of fallen soldiers. The players on Team USA listened as the family members told them about their child, who they were and how they died serving their country. The players may have understood the concept of service and sacrifice before but now after seeing the graves of the fallen soldiers, listening to personal stories of service and sacrifice and feeling the loss of the family members, they truly got it.
It’s also a powerful lesson for all of us. Feeling is more powerful than hearing.
The next time you have an important message or lesson to share instead of thinking about ways to tell it, think about how your team or audience can experience and feel it.
When we hear a message we will learn but when we feel a message we will be transformed.