19 minute listen April 9, 2019
- Hosted by: Rochelle Reiter
- Topics: Brand Strategy
We'll get back to you quickly
after a few brief questions:
April 15, 2019 Shownotes:
In Part 2 of our interview with Michael Allosso, the Communications & Awareness Specialist shares insights on the three communication zones – the head, heart and groin – and how the best communicators utilize all three based on their authentic objective.
The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with Michael Allosso – Part Two
Orange Label Podcast Script
Hi! This is Rochelle Reiter, Agency Principal at Orange Label. Last week, in Part 1 of our interview with the engaging Michael Allosso, we talked about the power of listening in a business environment and learned that being authentically “You” is the best way to communicate and connect with others. Today, in Part 2, Michael shares his thoughts on the three communication zones: The Head, Heart and Groin.
Host: Michael its so great to have you back on our podcast
Michael: Thank you Rochelle, great to be back.
Host: Lets kick it right off ahum, with a question. You have a theory about the head, heart and groin. The three communication zones. What are they?
Michael: thank you for saying head, heart, groin: three communication zones. What they’re not is who people are, what they are is the way we communicate. When I coach actors as we discover a role one way of approaching a role is I ask the actor what kind of communicator is your character? Is your character a head communicator, a heart communicator or a groin communicator? Now a head communicators are people who communicate via data, logic, facts. They’re very intelligent, they speak succinctly, they’re non-emotional, they’re non- confrontational. And that’s why we associate them with head. Who are heart communicators? Well heart communicators Rochelle are deeply empathetic, they’re even sympathetic. They care deeply about the words they’re saying, how it goes into the soul, the mind, the heart of the other individual. They’re sensitive they’re feelings could be hurt. Now I hear Americans all over the place whether they’ve studied theater or not go around head and heart. In fact you’ll hear people say well they’re a head communicator or a heart communicator a head person a heart person. As if those were the only two zones that exist, and that’s not true. There are many people who are not a head communicator nor a heart communicator. And those people are groin communicators, gut communicators, grit communicators whatever G word you want to use there. And these folks Rochelle their best friends are speed and truth. And subsequently they have no filter, they just say what they want. I love your hair cut, I hate your shoes, you look wonderful, you look awful. And people like these people a lot Rochelle quite often because as we said in our last podcast, they come across as authentic. And authenticity is very very important to all of us. And they never waste our time they’re all in a hurry, they don’t beat around the bush they get out. Now the negative about it is some people dismiss them as tactless.
Michael: Yes, now one way to think of it Rochelle that if you look at prototypes of people in show business, politics, sports. That’s often the way of understanding these models better cause we can talk, before we apply it to our company and the people in our family, people you deal with day to day. Is if we look at it globally from celebrities sometimes its easier to understand.
Host: Okay well what give me some examples like whose a head personality.
Michael: Yeah so lets start with head communicators. Generally secretaries of state are very head communicators, Dr. Congolese Rice, Madeline Albright, Colin Powel, Rex Tillerson, Hillary Rodin Clinton when she was secretary of state, John Carry. These folks are very very head, they communicate via data, logic. Finance chairs: Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Jennie Eelam. Broadcast journalist, are virtually always head, and don’t think cable news, think your local 6 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 10 o’clock news where ever you live. Those folks are always head. You know 1963 Walter Cronkite made front page news. Why? He reported that President Kennedy had passed away in a Dallas Hospital. When he reported that he took off his glasses and wiped a tear. Front page news cause we don’t expect broadcast journalists to be anything but head. Bill Belichick the greatest coach ever in the NFL. Did I mention that the Patriots have been in 9 super bowls over the last 18 years yet Rochelle?
Host: you haven’t but, ….
Michael: Now I have. There you go. Don’t edit that out. Here we go so Bill Belichick is a great example. If you watch Bill Belichick’s press conferences never confrontational, never emotional head. In fact in New England we have a T shirt that has nine pictures of Bill Belichick on it and they’re all the same picture. And underneath is a different adjective, angry, happy, elated and they’re all the same pictures cause he’s a head dominate communicator. So does head make sense to Rochelle? Do you get that one?
Host: yes absolutely.
Michael: So move to Heart Rochelle heart people these are people like ahum Oprah Winfery. Oprah Winfery sits at the edge of her couch and she cares deeply about everybody. Do you remember the picture of Oprah ahum, the first time President Obama won? She at Grant park in Chicago. Someone snapped a picture of her, she had her elbow on the shoulder of a guy she had never met before. Tears were streaming down her face, her mascara running. And she brought that guy on her show the next day. And that’s Oprah, that’s heart. Now time out Rochelle we’re not saying Oprah Winfery has not head or groin as a human being. She’s one of the richest women in the world obviously we know she does. But her persona on her programing seems deeply heartfelt deeply caring. Mr. Rogers its always a beautiful day in his neighborhood. Richard Simons he cries cause you’re fat. These are heart dominant people. Okay that’s what we associate with heart. Are you clear on Heart?
Host: I’m very clear.
Michael: Now it’s the easiest question of the day for everybody. Who is the famous person we know who communicates exclusively from groin. And of course it’s the President of the United States Donald Trump. Even before Donald Trump became president the celebrity apprentice his television program was built around groin. Built around delightfully saying to someone you’re fired and that’s the centerpiece of a show. Groin communicators are people like Chelsey Handler, like Kathy Griffin, Judge Judy, Howard Stern, all the shock jocks, O’Riley, Rush Limbaugh, they make their living from groin. Ahum, Bruce Willis. Now Rochelle the big question is what’s better to have? Head, Heart or groin? And what do you think Rochelle?
Host: Well I think it just matters of who you are. Its individual and it sounds like you have a predominate communication zone and you have a little bit of both ah, depending on the what your individual make up is. That’s what I can see.
Michael: you’re good Rochelle. See to me the great leaders the great communicators have all three. You know you think about Presidents of the United States they’re supposed to be role models of great communication. And when I think about the last oh I don’t know how many years the last forty, fifty years. Two names stand out and they are Ronald Reagan, and William Jefferson Clinton. And most people would agree that these two men brilliant communicators. And I will over simplify why head, intelligence, data, fact assessment, word crafting, manipulation of words. It depends upon what the definition of the word “is” is that’s head. Heart you know I’ve been blessed Rochelle to meet many many people through this wonderful journey I’m on, who have met either President Reagan or President Clinton and true one what every single person have said whether there were ten people in the room or 10 hundred people in the room that man made them feel like they were the only person in the room. And if they actually got to shake the guys hand you know he looks them in the eye called them by name, made them feel special. Not looking over their shoulder to see who the next celebrity is that they could shake hands with. That’s hard. Groin I wouldn’t mess with these guys if I were you. They’re tough. You know Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall. Is that head, heart or groin?
Michael: Yeah yeah now he didn’t go to head he could have said, Oh Mr. Gorbachev let’s discuss the pros and cons of separating people. He didn’t go to heart, oh Mr. Gorbachev oh these poor people are suffering. No he went to groin. And I’m quoting him you know decades later. You know Rochelle if I’m with you, and I bring my dog with me and you try to hurt her, just watch me kick into groin. You know, you tell me your moms dying of cancer you watch me kick into heart. You’re right your conjecture is a hundred percent correct. We all lead with one more than the other two. Our challenge is how do we get the other two into the picture so that your communication touches more people and is more authentic.
Host: Let’s talk about that. How do we use this information, knowledge in a business setting in order to communicate better with people with varying personalities and varying communication zones strengths.
Michael: You would think Rochelle that if you have a head employee then you should try to communicate head with them so you could connect with them. Or you might even think we need to do the opposite if I groin employee why don’t I go to heart. Its important that we’re aware of these kinds of zones in order to understand that sometimes we do need to match and sometimes we do need to mismatch. I’ll give you a quick example of each. I was in the Minneapolis St Paul airport you know how Minnesota people are very nice and so Minnesota people often say to me oh Michael we don’t go to groin. Well I was in Minnesota airport, I love Minneapolis
Host: My dad’s from Minnesota.
Michael: Oh I love Minnesota I could be so happy living there. Ah, except for the Twins you know I would need to bring the Red Socks there. So its what happens is I’m in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport I have my Red Socks hat on. I’m talking on the phone, I’m second in line to check my bag, my five hundred pound bag, mostly moisturizer that I have to check before I fly. The person in front of me is having a conflict with the gate attendant person. And I’m talking about this volume with my wife Peggy on the phone I had my Red Socks hat on. He turns to me and says, Why don’t you go home where you belong Boston. And then whipped back around. And I took a breath, and I said to him I heard that people from Minnesota were the nicest people in the US. You in a single moment have disproven that. And I continued to talk on my phone. Now here’s the thing Rochelle he what did he communicate to me in? Head, Heart Or Groin?
Michael: Groin.. Now I did not match it. Here’s a piece of the story I didn’t tell you. His little five year old daughter was with him. And they it would have been horrible if I had matched groin. Horribly ineffective not what was I to gain from that. It would have been horrible for her for both of all three of us. Ahum, now he he obviously had a reason to be angry at it. Because his trip to Disney had been mishandled by the airlines. But he didn’t have a right to be angry with me.
Michael: Now Rochelle did I kick into heart? Or Head?
Michael: You’re good Rochelle. Head I was on my B- Game, B, B- Game. My objective was to teach him a lesson. To maintain my American rights to converse at any volume I wanted. If I’d been on my A game what would of I kicked into? Heart. I might of said to him Oh sir you’ve had a horrible day, I apologize let me keep my voice down. I wasn’t that good today. Let me give you a quick example if we have time Rochelle, of where you do match.
Host: Okay yeah.
Michael: so I’m in Houston one of my favorite cities in America. I work in Houston a lot, Wonderful people. And this is an all-male leader group and what I do a small group you know fourteen, fifteen people with those groups I always make personalized packets for everybody and I hand them out in the beginning. And I call everybody by name I say good morning to them. I’m going around one guy at a time, I say good morning to this one guy. And he turns to me and says, Are you a gay? And I said What? I was thrown you know me Rochelle nothing throws me. I’m Mr. improve. This threw me. And he said Are you gay? And I’m still not in the zone, I said why you asking that? He said, well I read in your Bio that you’re from Massachusetts so I figured you were either gay or a democrat. And in either case I don’t like you.
Michael: Now Rochelle Michael is in full blossom now. Now I have arrived and I’m in the zone. So I leaned into him and I said first of all I’m not going to answer you’re horribly inappropriate question. And second of all what you’re gonna learn today is how that kind of communication isn’t gonna get you anywhere.
Michael: Then I proceeded around the room and I said good morning Fred, good morning John. Now do you know what that group of men did when I spoke to their colleague that way. They burst into spontaneous applause.
Host: No one has probably ever done that to him.
Michael: Exactly, and yet he’s done that to many people before. And to give the guy credit he ended up being a great participant in the program, they all were. But here’s the thing about this story Rochelle. If I had not matched groin with groin, if I’d gone to head or heart. Oh I’m sorry sir is my behavior not satisfact. I would have been toast.
Host: Yeah you would have gotten eaten alive, right?
Michael: Yeah so what I had to do was make sure that I showed him that I could match that level and that I’m ready to play. And once he realized that I was ready to play all good. the way we went. Now do you determine which of the three whether you match or whether you mismatch? It all goes back to objective. As we discussed in our last podcast. Once I knew what my objective is and my objective when I do those groups is to make everyone walk out of there with a minimum of two ways to upgrade the way they communicate and lead. Then I know which of the three zones I need to access. And if I have them already in my muscle memory the access will be authentic.
Host: What’s one piece of advice you could give our listeners about how to best communicate and recognize the zones.
Michael: Many people cover so my biggest advice would be careful of judging a book by its cover. For example and this sometimes is a little gender skewed. A lot of men will cover with groin they’ll walk into the room and be all swaggery and then as soon as I give them a piece of criticism they defend their behavior. They’ll say Oh no I meant this. This morning a guy told me he was very warm I pointed out to him that he didn’t even say hello to me when I walked into the room and gave me no greeting and he was sitting right next to me. Oh that devastated him he was apologetic. If I weren’t studied I would have thought he was a groin communicator. What you’ve got to watch everybody’s messaging in an amalgam way a collection way. Be careful of judging by one mannerism. Women a lot of my women CEO’s are genuinely dominant heart and they cover with either head or groin. And when I call them on that behavior, they say to me well you’re not a woman Michael. For guys we weep about something everyone calls us oh new age and isn’t that wonderful. If A Woman does that we call her weak. So because of the horrible double standard, a lot of women will cover. So my advice is “A” make sure you’re taking a collection of micro messages from your folks before you decide which they are. And my second piece of advice for you if you are covering with one and you’re authentic underneath is a different one. Make sure that you are being brave and finding times when you can celebrate that authentic zone no matter what your gender is no matter what the circumstances are to more authentically play your objective effectively.
Host: I love that I love that. I’m definitely a heart person, I remember.
Michael: Tell me something I don’t know. You’re a wonderful heart person.
Host: I remember early on someone told me you need to take love out of your emails. Cause I write not love like as a salutation but more as I would love to meet with you. And I started doing it and I’m like no I’m gonna put this back in. Cause I really would love to meet with this person. So I definitely have recognized over the years, that I lead with my heart.
Michael: So proud of you and that shows everybody what a great role model you are for younger women who feel like because of business needs they have to delete that. It would be great to celebrate it, not delete the other two. But put them all in the tool box.
Host: Michael again it was great having you. Thank you so much for sharing your time and insight and expertise with Orange Label and our listeners. And I really appreciate it. And I hope that you’ll come back for another podcast in the future.
Michael: Thank you Rochelle
Host: Thanks Michael.
Thank you for listening to Part 2 of our interview with Michael Allosso.
If you have additional thoughts on this topic, send us an email! You can send questions, comments and more to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure subscribe to The 19 on iTunes and Google Play, and, if you like what you heard today, leave us a review!
This was The 19. Brought to you by Orange Label. If you’re interested in MORE response marketing, visit our blog and subscribe to our content, where we share our response marketing expertise on current industry topics. Visit orangelabeladvertising.com for all the details.
Explore more related industry podcasts
19 minute listen April 9, 2019
As Orange County’s longest-standing, privately held response marketing agency, we have witnessed dynamic shifts in the world of marketing. Through it all, we have ensured our clients stay at the forefront of communication and technology, driving response and value with every new endeavor.