High Touch Learning and Thinking with Jane Gentry


My Dad, who has an MBA always opined that my MFA was a complete waste. Several years ago after reading Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind, I was thrilled to ‘prove ‘ to him that in the new world of ‘High Concept’/’High Touch’, my MFA and ‘wacky right brain’ would be more valuable than he imagined. It’s proving true in ways I didn’t imagine.

A study of recent MBA students gave high marks for analysis, quantitative expertise and information gathering. These are skills that technology makes easy and AI will make easier . They won’t be as valued as job skills in the future. Pink’s ‘High Concept’ is where high touch learners and thinkers as well as Millennials excel. High concept thinkers see possibilities in things others see as disparate. They don’t see the world linearly, but holistically. There is value in a right brain learner throughout your entire organization.  

Your Millennial workers are asking Why? and How? Leaders are frustrated. They aren’t trying to be a complete annoyance to you. They are looking for ways to make things better – they want to improve the status quo. Status quo = failure.

I mentioned the study of MBA students earlier. The study also showed that they were seriously lacking in skills like oral communication, adaptability, leadership and strategic thinking. This is where Pink’s ‘High Touch’ concept comes in to play.

‘High Touch’ is the ability to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction & create meaningful relationships. These skills directly impact one’s success at the skills above, in sales, and I’d posit, in life. But, ‘High Touch’ stresses younger workers and I believe is one of the biggest skill gaps we face.

Today, as I talk with young sellers and some sales leaders, they try to convince me that we’ll no longer need to push deep, in personal conversations because the Next Gen is ‘so much more comfortable online’. I said at a conference recently that we are biologically wired to connect – that our brain chemistry changes when we interact in person that this is how we build trust and rapport. A new sales leader told me, ‘That’s what emojis are for and they are getting better and better! Sales leaders, please tell me that you aren’t buying into this.   You need a ‘High Touch’ sales organization – so, what’s your plan?

If you’d like to change the way your organization connects personally and teach your team what it really means to be a high touch learner, schedule a time to chat with us! 

Jane Gentry leverages her experience with Fortune 500 clients to help mid-market companies grow revenue by solving key sales issues like:  process, pipeline, leadership, relationship management and hiring. She speaks worldwide on topics about sales growth and leadership. Her clients include companies in manufacturing, medical, professional services and technology.

Connect with Jane!

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