Big Ears + Small Mouth = Bad Marketing?

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The other day a colleague and friend of mine (Arnold Zeman) posted this video on his blog the other day.  It has a great comic figure on it – check it out:

While I realize that this comic only talks about mediators, you and I both know that description fits many groups/people in the Conflict Resolution World.  Here’s the part I want to focus on: Big Ears and Little Mouth.

This (to me) is something that we excel at.  We are great at listening and we open our mouth long enough to ask a quick question and then we close it again.  This is great if you are doing mediation, coaching, peacemaking, etc.

But here is the problem!  Little mouths don’t spread the word of your field.  Sure there are a few people in all of our fields that are outspoken and letting the general public know about us, but guess who is getting those cases? Yep! The ones with a big mouth!  We need to start piping in to those conversations, tell people what your field is about, tell people why you chose this line of work, tell anyone that will listen about the benefits of Conflict Resolution! But don’t just blast them with your ‘elevator speech’ instead start building a relationship with them.  Take a genuine interest in who they are and begin to form a new relationship, a new contact.

Here’s your challenge for this week: Go to an event this week and talk to at least one person you don’t know.  Listen to them and then open your mouth and strike up a conversation.  Tell them about yourself, what you do, who you are, and strike up a new relationship.  Then follow up with them the week after.  Let me know how it goes!

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Comments(2)

  • October 28, 2011, 1:16 pm  Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with you about mediation marketing. So mediators need to act like mediators when mediating but that role doesn’t serve them well outside the mediation room, e.g. when it comes to running a business.

    In point of fact, the mediator in the YouTube video, Louise Phipps Senft, is a very prominent businessperson in the Baltimore area. She is deservedly known as a consummate marketer of mediation and conflict intervention training; for information, see her website, baltimoremediation.com. No one would ever fault her with having a ‘small mouth’ outside the mediation room!

    As for mediators’ asking questions, I just wanted to point out that transformative practice is guided by much more than getting in and out quickly, but that’s a completely different subject for perhaps another time.

  • October 29, 2011, 12:22 pm  Reply

    Thanks for the comment Arnold, after hearing this video I had the same thoughts about Louise! It’s always good to see people that aren’t afraid to talk about the field

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