Signals and Worldviews

From the price you set to the metaphors you employ to the typeface you use in your newsletters, every item you send out in the world sends a signal. However, each signal runs through a filter before it is received. And that filter is the worldview of the receiver.

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF THE PROVINCE OF SASKATCHEWAN

As represented by

THE MINISTER of Agriculture

(Hereinafter referred to as “THE MINISTRY”)

-and-

Mark Dyck

(Hereinafter referred to as “THE SERVICE PROVIDER”)

We’ve been discussing “signals” quite a bit in over in the Right Company  community. From the price you set to the metaphors you employ to the typeface you use in your newsletters, every item you send out in the world sends a signal.

However, each signal runs through a filter before it is received. And that filter is the worldview of the receiver.

The six page contract that came last week for a 30 minute presentation I’d agreed to give (in exchange for gas money) is a case in point.

Even my single worldview drew out three distinct reactions.

  • What a power play! They’re just trying to push me down a peg. Service Provider – pfft.
  • Talk about bureaucracy! It cost them more to create the contract than the gas money. All for a 30 minute talk. What a waste.
  • That poor lady. She must be embarrassed to have to send me such a crazy contract for a tiny thing.

I’m sure you can think of more.

Now, the contract itself isn’t good or bad. A verbal agreement would create just as many reactions.

The question for us as leaders, storytellers and marketers isn’t “should I use a contract?” It’s not even “how will people respond to this signal?”

The more important question is “How will a person with the worldview I’m trying to connect with react to this signal?” Others will react differently and that’s OK.

The problem arises when we send a signal and are surprised by the response.