Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Being Both Separate and Inseparable

Recent discussions at about We relationships based on Steve Yastrow's book and discussions on design and essence, that which applies fundamental knowledge to design, got me thinking about the relationships of both others and things. Yastrow's book speaks of the importance of relationships with customers that when they think of you they think of we, as the relationship has been formed over time that makes the connection inseparable.

The discussion on design essentially has asked whether it is necessary or important to understand intrinsically the physics that makes a product such as the Ipod function and whether the design is what people best relate to, making the product a discussion essentially about themselves rather than about the brilliance of the inventor, the person who is outside of themselves.

Should the inventor even be important when the focus is, after all, the invention, not particularly the inventor? Perhaps this is the best praise of the inventor, but maybe not the best acknowledgement of the knowledge of the buyer. But is this even important? What this perhaps may show is the distinction of people but maybe not that of product and people. I identify with the product not because it does much for me but because the design catches my fancy.

Both of the discussions on We relationships and design clearly deal with the relationship or identification with people and things, those which are inseparable but separate. But because the identification is essentially one of self, does this assists in product sales i.e., I buy the product because I relate to it or that I do business with people because I relate to them. Both, however, are essentially extensions of me, of my understanding.

Now, from a psychological/philosophical point of view, one might wonder if solipsism (essentially I, my mind - that is - is all that I know exists) has reached a new zenith. Or, is this the old historical sales pitch? I buy a product or work with people because I identify with it or because I relate to them? Does the inseparable notion of the indistinguishable product/person sale? Is this indisinguishable element important or necessary when selling a product or building relationships?

On another level, however, it might be asserted that when we can step outside of ourselves to understand the other or the product (maybe not in totality, but perhaps the sheer effort of such an act) that our own consciousness is raised and knowledge increased. (But how important is knowledge, especially in sales?) It takes much more to talk about another than to talk about oneself. Identification in understanding is perhaps limiting, narrowing.

These thoughts may be those of leadership and not necessarily sales. What are your thoughts?

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