The Wisdom of Crowds
Itâ€™s only human nature to want to name things. Names are the first step to a definition. A definition is the first step to knowledge. Knowledge leads to understanding.
Yet the names we choose can limit our thinking as much as they shape it.
Writers, Readers, Teachers, Sales Reps, Users, Customers, Marketer, Bloggers, Vendors, Workers, Managers, Employees . . .
All of those words refer to people. Individuals grouped together as a crowd.
The wisdom crowds is the aggregate of independent decisions by the individuals who form the crowds. To get the whole story when we listen, we need to the group, but we also need to listen one at a time.
Gathering Wisdom One at a Time
To get the rich context and detail, we have to listen to individuals talking â€” not a whole group shouting. Every person has a different story. In those stories are the reasons people care; why tell their friends about us or move on by. Individual views and experiences put the heart in the data.
People share wisdom one at time.
To listen actively, picture the person and the experience, and consider questions like these . . .
- What’s the message of this person’s story?
- What’s surprising about what this person is saying?
- In what ways, is this person like me? In what ways, is this person unique?
- What might this person want or need that I never expected?
- What might this person want or need that everyone wants?
- What can I learn from this person’s story that I didn’t know or always knew but forgot?
You get the idea. If we hear — really hear — individual stories, we can sort to find the universal truths we share.
Would you tell me a listening story that you’re thinking of right now?