Once upon a time, in India, so it is told, a king who was known to be a bit bored occasionally, asked his castle-staff to invent a game to humour him.
One of his servants, named Sissa, invented a game called “chaturanga,” which was played on a board with 64 divisions. The game was designed to represent a battle between two armies, with each piece on the board representing a different type of warrior. The game quickly gained popularity throughout India and eventually spread to the Middle East and Europe. You might guess, which game we are talking about: Chess.
Shirham was so impressed with the game that he asked Sissa what he wanted as a reward for his invention. Sissa replied that he wanted a grain of wheat (in other versions of the legend, it’s rice) on the first field, two on the second, 4 on the third, 8 on the fourth … doubling the number of grains on each field until the last 64th one. The king agreed to this seemingly modest request and ordered his treasurer to count out the grains of wheat (rice) on a chessboard to reward Sissa.
The treasurer quickly found out that the amount of wheat required became so astronomical that the king would be unable to fulfil Sissa’s request. The table at the end of this illustrates how quickly the number evolves.
Now, imagine …
Imagine that these are not rice/wheat grains, but people. People that you can convince to do something wonderful or to change something that really matters. It can be small things (like, for example, giving a compliment to a completely unknown person and making their day) or big things. It’s your choice. The only thing that counts: it is important, positive, well thought, and you take care to convince people through well-thought arguments rather than manipulation.
Now imagine that you reach two persons every day and these people continue with the same exercise on their side.
How many days do you think you need to reach the world population? The title of this post, such as the table on the end of it, might give a hint …
What if communication really was the key to your success?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”George Bernard Shaw
Even some aspects of the world might suggest otherwise, people are more than just numbers. They are human beings, with their fears and agendas. Their communication is mostly a reflection of themselves.
By not taking things personally, actively listening to and understanding your clients, and transparently communicating with them (and even educating them, if necessary), you can turn a sceptical prospect into a trusting client and a difficult client into a cooperative partner. However, it’s important to remember that communication should never be used as a tool for manipulation. Persuasion and conviction are two distinct things, and a client who has been persuaded may only remain loyal as long as everything goes smoothly. In contrast, a convinced client will speak positively about your business and hence may even act as a powerful marketing tool through word of mouth. This type of client will be truly loyal, defending your business even when you’re not present to do so yourself. To achieve this level of loyalty, you need to be competent and prioritize effective communication, especially in challenging situations.
I have experienced this time and time again, such as with my satisfied clients for whom I ghostwrite, who regularly express their gratitude for having smoothed over difficult situations and left all parties involved feeling happy.
Communicate and everything will eventually fall into place naturally.
If you feel inspired by this idea, I can warmly recommend the 2000 film “Pay it forward” featuring Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment.