Clarity: Making Your Message Count

Daniel Pink

Lesson time 14:23 min

Learn how strategic communication can mean the difference between success and failure in an information-saturated era.

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Topics include: Find Problems, Not Solutions · The Power of the Five "Whys?" · Become an Expert ·Information Curation · Find the 1% · Less is More


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:07.12] - What we want and when we're selling and persuading is we want to bring clarity to people's understanding, and clarity is simply the ability to see a situation in a fresh light and help people surface problems they didn't realize that they had. Now, this has two more specific dimensions to it in the world of influence and persuasion. One of them is this-- it used to be that you could be an effective persuader if you had access to information that nobody else had. In fact, in many ways, expertise was defined by having privileged access to information, whether in financial services or in medicine or in any specialized field. [00:00:49.39] What made you an expert was your access. But today, everybody has access. So the world is moving from access to information as an advantage to the ability to curate information. There's so much information out there. The central ability is, can you make sense of this information? Can you separate out the signal from the noise in that information? [00:01:12.63] This other dimension of clarity is moving from problem-solving the problem-finding. A lot of salespeople over the year say, I'm not really in sales. I'm a problem solver. [00:01:26.40] And you know what? God bless you for being a problem solver. It's just less important now. Because if your customer or prospect knows precisely what its problem is, they can often find the solution without you. They don't need you very much. [00:01:41.37] Where they need you more is when they don't know what their problem is or they're wrong about their problem, and therefore, the premium has shifted from problem-solving to problem-finding. So that's what clarity is. See things in a fresh light, surface problems people didn't realize that they have, move from information access to information curation, from solving existing problems to identifying hidden problems. [00:02:07.62] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:14.32] Let me give you example of the difference between problem-solving and problem-finding. Imagine this, I am shopping for a vacuum cleaner, right? Now, if my problem is that I need a vacuum cleaner, I don't need any help from anybody else, right? I can go online. I can find 87 different varieties of vacuum cleaners. I can stack them up by price. I can find the cheapest one, the one that's most energy efficient, OK? [00:02:39.87] If my problem is that I want a vacuum cleaner, I don't need any help, right? However, is a vacuum cleaner really my problem? Because ultimately, right? What do I want? I want clean floors. So maybe the reason that my floors aren't clean is that there's stuff getting in through the windows because my screens are falling apart. [00:03:05.16] Maybe I need new screens. Maybe my carpet isn't right, and it's collecting too much dust. Maybe I need new carpet. You know what? Maybe I should just buck up and get a cleaning service and not buy a vacuum cleaner but just get someone else to clean my floors, all ...

About the Instructor

With four NYT bestsellers, Daniel Pink is an influential voice in the evolving landscape of sales and motivation. Now the author of To Sell Is Human teaches you science-backed principles for effective and ethical sales and persuasion. Learn tactics for achieving better outcomes in any interaction—at home or at work—and tools for framing your message, navigating cognitive biases, and pitching ideas, products, or yourself.

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Daniel Pink

NYT-bestselling author Daniel Pink shares a science-based approach to the art of persuading, selling, and motivating yourself and others.

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