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The Importance of Moments for People

By: John P. (Pat) Philbin, Ph.D., PMP

President & CEO

I recently read The Power of Moments , which helps explain “why certain experiences have extraordinary impact” according to Chip Heath & Dan Heath. I often wondered why there were certain events that I could recall easily, while others were unremarkable. The authors helped me understand the significance of “moments” and why we should care as it relates to our Vivid Vision.

For anyone who has flown on Southwest Airlines, you may have experienced humorous announcements by witty flight attendants. Humor can an effective component of moments. More important is in how we create a “defining moment” for others. In their research, the authors identified four elements that are critical—though not all must be present. These include (1) Elevation, which simply means that they “rise above everyday” that makes them either extraordinary or unexpected; (2) Insight, which create a “revelation or understanding” – an “a-ha” moment; (3) Pride, which reveal moments of “courage or great achievement;” and (4) Connection, which are moments largely defined as stronger for experiences having been shared with others.

The significance of the book is not only in the research and revelation of these elements but also in how we can create them to make them “stick.” For example, if we are seeking to create a moment of “insight” for someone who is resistant to change, we might consider helping the person “trip over the truth” by allowing them to experience something that results in an a-ha moment whereby the solution that is an option under consideration becomes self-evident in the experience.

As we make our Vivid Vision a reality, we must understand that moments are important and we should consider how to create ones that will deepen relationships and create shared meaning with others.

Best regards and be well,



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