Empathy for the busy

You guys, we are busy. Am I right? You have a long list of things to do! Already you have scanned this post to see how long it is. Do you have time to read the whole thing? Maybe not, so I’m going to bullet it out for you in an if-then format:

If we can agree:
— People are really busy.
— And distracted.
— Also, different.

Then:
— We must get to understand them and the demands on their time better.
— Not assume they’re interested in our very important message (VIM).
— Find the right time and place and way to share our VIM.

There is so much information to share about a library! Also, the people who work in a library are really into sharing information! It’s an awesome way to be, for sure. However, sometimes this enthusiasm can become communication clutter. Saying a lot at once and at the same volume means that people can’t hear much over the din.

The trick is to step outside of the urge to want to share this VIM with everyone right away and step into your audience’s brand new suede kicks. Where are they, what are they doing and what do they want? Meet their needs first and remember you’re competing with a smart phone. That’s how to get heard.

In our next installment, let’s spend some time together looking at the three questions: Where are they, what are they doing and what do they want?

Leave your answers in the comments and I can incorporate them into the next post.

Photo: National Library of Ireland on Flickr.

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