Interpret an Experience

by | Dec 18, 2023

Hello, Culture Leaders. Here is your culture challenge.

For this week, I want you to interpret an experience for someone that you work with.

What does that mean? It means that every day, every minute you are creating an experience for people that you work with. And those experiences are shaping their beliefs. Those beliefs are going to lead to their actions, and that’s going to get the company a result.

So, one of the tools we have at our disposal as a leader or even a non-leader, is to interpret experiences. And it looks like this.

You’re going to go up to someone and say, “When X happened, the belief I wanted you to have was that,” and then insert the belief you hoped that experience was going to create.

So, for example, when I asked you all those questions in our executive leadership team meeting, the belief I wanted you to have is that I was really invested in your idea and that I was helping you think through all of the possible outcomes. Is that the experience that you had?

What I’ve done there is I’ve interpreted an experience and why I would do it in that scenario.

Well, one time I was in a meeting and I was asking a bunch of questions of a peer of mine, and I noticed that they were getting uncomfortable and a bit defensive, and I got the feeling that maybe they interpreted my asking questions as trying to put the idea down or that I wasn’t bought in.

In fact, I was trying to help them problem-solve to make sure it was successful. But I could see there was tension and maybe a little bit of a miscommunication there. So, I interpreted the experience for them. That looks like saying “When X happened, this is the belief I was hoping it would develop in you. Is that the experience you had?”

As you’re interpreting that experience, ask them about their experience. That way, if there was a miscommunication, you can clear it up.

So, try that this week. Interpret an experience with one of your colleagues or one of your employees and see what happens.

And let me know how it goes.


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