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Mastering the Art of Human Insights - Crafting connections that resonate

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

I was raised in a single-parent household with a mother whose words flowed ceaselessly from dawn to dusk. I was a relatively silent observer, keenly attuned to her effect on others. In these moments of quiet observation, my journey into the world of deep listening and human insights began.

As my career ventured into brand communications, I had the opportunity to collaborate closely with market research teams, delving into both qualitative and quantitative research. Among them, qualitative research was my favourite. Understanding the "why" behind people's actions and unraveling the intricate layers of what truly motivates them became my passion.

Understanding the "why" behind people's actions and unravelling the intricate layers of what truly motivates them became my passion.

Throughout my career, I've worked alongside brilliant colleagues who instilled in me the profound significance of human insights in communication. But what exactly is an insight? It's similar to my grade 11 English teacher, a figure I adored and feared, who eloquently spoke of the "human truth" while spontaneously belting out lines from Shakespeare. The human truth, the essence of our shared human condition, affects each of us uniquely based on our circumstances.

Let me give you an example of the power of human insights. Imagine your goal is to connect with a multitasking mom, expertly juggling responsibilities at home and in her job. The product that you would like to sell to her is ready-made pasta. You could opt for the conventional pitch, highlighting affordability and quality compared to competitors.

But here's where it gets exciting. What if you could delve deeper? What if you could tap into her Human truth? To uncover this, engage in meaningful conversations with women like her. Ask about their daily challenges and frustrations. It won't take long to realize that she often grapples with a sense of never being good enough as she tries to balance all her roles in life.

With this insight, the rest is surprisingly easy. You craft your message to speak to her on a profound, human level. "You are a remarkable mom. An exceptional role model for your children, revealing boundless possibilities for today's parents. Instead of dedicating 30 minutes tonight to making homemade pasta sauce, why not extend kindness to yourself? Spend just 5 minutes on our pasta and instead devote some time to reading a story to your kids and then taking a moment for yourself. You deserve it. You are shaping our future."

Child reading a book
Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

Do you see the difference? Which pasta do you think she'd choose? That, my friends, is the invaluable power of using insights to tailor your messaging. I have applied this approach to my work every week throughout my squiggly career. Whether you're trying to motivate your audience or convey a message, the key lies in placing their motivations and needs at the forefront of your approach. It's about understanding what drives them to connect with their hearts and minds before you seek to tell them what you feel is important.

Using deep listening and human insights, we discover that true communication isn't just about what we want to say; it's about understanding and connecting with what truly motivates our audience.

Here are my top 5 questions to ask someone who is in your audience or relates to your next audience:

  1. What's on your mind today?

  2. What bothers/excites you most right now?

  3. Why does that matter to you?

  4. How might I support you?

  5. How can I make that happen?

If you're eager for more insights like these, I invite you to sign up for regular updates. I would love to explore these five questions with you and more!

We'll embark on this journey together, exploring the profound connections that human insights can create in our ever-evolving world. Imagine a world with more authentic active listening, and it can be transformational.

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