The Bible is mentioned there, but it is not a religious story. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Instead, let’s start with my accountant being one of my best friends. His name is Griff and we met at college. After graduation, he passed the CPA exam and took over his father’s business.
He’s been doing my taxes for a long time now, and he’s really good at what he does, but there are two things to know:
- First, I’m probably a little potato for his business, but he keeps me out of friendship, loyalty, and maybe a little nostalgia.
- Second, I have not been the best customer. I pay the bill quickly, which is important. But, I admit, I’m always late to collect all of my stuff and send it off.
It’s anxiety and procrastination on my part, but it ends up meaning my friend’s business has to pay my taxes at the last minute.
This year was a perfect example, but after I finally sent everything in and we filled out the forms and paid what was due, Griff texted me, “I just sent you something through Amazon. Do not open until you have spoken. “
Two days later I received a package which clearly contained a book. I wondered what it could be: some sort of calendar, journal, or self-help title? But I was true to my word and waited until we were on the phone.
“Alright,” Griff said. “Open it.”
Inside I found a brand new shrink-wrap edition from the publisher of The holy bible.
“Now,” he said, “I want you to put your phone on speaker, put your left hand on the Bible, raise your right hand, and repeat after me. “
I was joking. But I followed the instructions and he continued:
“I, Bill Murphy Jr., solemnly swear that in 2022 I will end my tax preparation streak at the last minute and compile and upload all of my documents by the end of January to mid- February. at the latest, so that my good friend Griff, who is not getting any younger, does not have one on his plate at the end of tax season, when time is running out and his days are already long enough like that. “
I liked it. Frankly, I immediately started composing this story in my head, as I realized that my friend had just taught a masterclass on how to communicate effectively with people using emotional intelligence, especially in situations. delicate.
To be honest, I think he’s asked me for the last few years to get my stuff together earlier, but even though I had the best of intentions, it never gets stuck. It’s mine, but the problem is, Griff can’t really fire me as a client.
I mean, he could, but he wouldn’t because we’re friends, so who would he hang out with at our college reunion next year?
Instead, he had to find a way to make the post memorable and effective. What he chose is a key rule of emotional intelligence: communicate through multiple attentions.
It’s really about crafting a message in a way that it plays across several different emotional areas, making it more memorable and crowding out the competing messages people get all the time.
So consider the idea of sending a Bible and how it played out masterfully on my emotions and reactions.
- First, it created the anticipation. I wondered what he was sending me and why.
- Second, he took advantage of humor. I smiled and laughed throughout the interaction.
- Third, it involved the visual senses. I mean, it’s a Bible. I opened it and asked myself: why is he sending this to me? The Bible is now on my desk; I can’t throw it away. So now every time I look at it it reminds me that I need to prepare my tax return on time.
- Fourth, he introduced an element of physicality. I had to stop what I was doing and focus on what my friend asked me, as he walked me through the swearing movements literally.
- Finally, it included an auditory component. He didn’t just send it with a note saying, “I want you to swear on this Bible; Instead, he had me on the phone for five minutes.
Listen, one of the hardest things in any important communication is knowing whether the people you are communicating with really hear what you have to say. It’s at the heart of emotional intelligence, which is harnessing emotions to help you achieve your goals.
This is why I spend so much time in my free ebook, 9 intelligent habits of people with very high emotional intelligence, explaining simple techniques people can use to make sure their messages are received and understood.
And that’s why this one jumped out at me, even as Griff was using it. (It’s so good that I think it will be mentioned in the new edition of the book when it comes out next month.)
If we wanted to be academic or technical, we could call this “multiple attention strategy” or “multisensory communication tactic”.
But as a tribute to my friend Griff, I think we’ll stick to the “Send a Bible” rule.
You should not literally send a Bible. But I bet that way you’re a lot more likely to remember it.