After spending time with my nephew both Friday and Saturday I heard this term about 100 times as a connector inside of stories. I had almost forgotten how powerful getting small affirmations during a conversation can be (when done correctly).
Open-ended probes are powerful but they also allow an individual to lose control of the direction of a conversation. Yet, there is good news! The key is knowing when to use open-ended probes to start conversations and when to switch to closed-ended probes to come to an expected end. This is just one of many techniques to get buy-in.
As I look back I don’t know if I was ever actually coached as a child on how to create buy-in. The crazy part is effective leaders almost always have an inherent talent for story telling to generate buy-in. They have to be able to tell the story and gauge their audience at the same time to make sure they are keeping their attention, gaining their trust, and flexing their influence. See, it is only when the audience feels they are apart of the decision making process that they have the opportunity to have “shared meaning” on the final decision.
That being said, using phrases like “guess what” or “make sense” or “you know what I mean” are all ways to make sure your audience is still actively interested and invested.
So the next time you feel like you are telling a story that has captured the sentiments of your hearts and you don’t want your audience to miss a moment, throw in these phrases (sparingly of course) and see if this leads to better retention. P.S. All this knowledge comes courtesy of Dr. Ian Jennings who is a grand total of 5 years old!