Say What?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering a Bonus Training* in Depth Story Analysis to a small group of LCF200 and 300 grads. I haven’t trained anyone in depth story analysis for some time and was pleased to have an experiential remembering of the power of diving deep into collage stories and transcripts and groups of stories beyond the first pass analysis. Pretty fun and exciting. As I am fond of saying, there’s always more you can do; there’s always more you can learn.

And this depth story analysis, while tricky to facilitate a novice team through, can deliver some pretty great insight into the land of the unarticulated.

Yep, the ever elusive and sought after unarticulated.

The word “unarticulated” is thrown around in consumer research circles a lot. So I decided to look up a definition online. Not much there … I looked up “articulated“: intelligible, clear or effective expression. Okay then, “unarticulated” may mean unintelligible, unclear or ineffective expression. And, I think in the consumer research realm “unarticulated” may also refer to that which is not said, cannot be expressed or does not want to be expressed.

So the BIG question. Once you discover, uncover, recover the unarticulated … then what??

Perhaps the most obvious answer — go check in with your target audience. My experience is when you do check in with your target there are two possible responses: #1 Heads nodding yes, that’s obvious, of course; or #2 No way! What – are you joking?!? That’s not what I think or feel at all (or I don’t want to/I’m not ready to know that about myself).

If you get response #2 does that mean you missed something or interpreted your analysis all wrong? Or might you be simply off the mark in your articulation of the unarticulated? Remember, by definition, unarticulated is something that has not been clearly and effectively expressed – something that’s not ready to be said – or something that’s not known enough to be shared. So if your target audience hasn’t articulated it how do you put words in their mouths particularly if you’re not part of the target? You get the wrong words … then what?

So I’m curious. What do you do with the unarticulated you discover??

* Bonus Trainings — the idea of offering special training events to our emerging community of LearningConnect 200 and 300 level facilitators — are something we’re playing with at IdeaConnect. For more information, drop us a note or give us a call.

Learning Something New

What can I learn through my mind’s imagination that is real and accurate, or rather how much can I really learn just through my mind, through thinking?

I keep getting this vision of Dancing with the Stars – you know, the show where stars are paired up with dancers and compete. I don’t really watch the show, but I understand the concept. And I was thinking if I wanted to learn ballroom dancing, well, what might I do?

I could read about ballroom dancing; I could get one of those books that have the dance steps illustrated with 1, 2, 3, 4 arrows; I could watch ballroom dancing on TV; I could observe others ballroom dancing live and in person; and I could do ballroom dancing myself. At what point am I learning ballroom dancing? I think this came forward for me as an example, because while I can dance, dance, dance around a room, I have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing at all – just ask my husband.

So at what point would I be learning ballroom dancing?

When I go to the inner for an answer, I get this image and feeling of being in a room full of air movement, the sound of fabric sweeping by me, the sounds and the movement of dancers dancing in a room. And then I have the feeling of being part of the flow, being in the movement of the dance myself. My whole body gliding in circles around a room, the centrifugal force arcing round and round and round. That’s all in my imagination – I can imagine a multi-sensory experience. But, I still have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing.

To really truly learn to dance I’d have to do it, be in the dance, to experience the dance physically and emotionally for myself. Without the experience I can really only guess what I would learn – head, heart, body learn.

And I’d have to choose to be fully present in each moment.

I realize this is an example of learning a physical skill. So what if what I want to learn isn’t in the physical skill realm – like, let’s say, I want to understand why a specific demographic or psychographic group interacts with a totally new-to-them product or service. How do I learn experientially then?

How would you?