Treat everybody like a genius

One of my favorite rules from the improv comedy world is, treat everybody like they’re a genius. 

This idea goes far beyond saying yes and. Because at the most fundamental, treating everybody like a genius forces you to trust the communication process and believe that the other person has something valuable to say. 

It activates the wheels of your own curiosity, making you a more engaged and respectful listener, waiting eagerly to hear what pearls of insight might drop out of their mouths next. 

And the exciting part is, people prove you right. They actually become geniuses. Maybe not every time, but more often than not, thanks to this emotional placebo. Imagine if every workplace and team and family and marriage began from that place of trust and belief in each other. 

Kerouac famously wrote a manifesto about his unique approach for writing effective modern prose. Sure enough, the second to last item on his list was, you’re a genius all the time. 

It’s a perfect reminder that the interpersonal rule works individually, too. 

When you treat yourself with trust and belief and positive expectation, your brain delivers. 


What do you see when you see people?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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