What’s Going On? -The Question Every “Neutral” Asks

In the previous blog post, I talked about a game my friend Kevin made up called “Scream and Run.” In case you need a recap:

“Your challenge is to run as fast as you can towards the rest of the group while screaming. Then run back doing the same.” The group laughed again. “Oh, but one thing, we won’t tell anyone what we are doing unless they come over here and ask us. Ok?” 

The group nodded and lined up to start the experiment. Kevin yelled “Go!” and off they went. The four students turned towards 146 of their unsuspecting peers, started running, and with their mouths wide open, yelled the whole time. By the time they got back to the corner of the grassy field with Kevin, they all were hysterically laughing and high-fiving each other.

The experiment proved successful, because a group of five other students came over to the corner and asked, “What’s going on? What’s going on?” Kevin explained the game to them and they pledged their support for round two. The group lined up, Kevin yelled “Go!” again. The group of nine charged forward on the grassy field with mouths wide open.   

They did this over and over until the entire group of students was screaming and running, for absolutely no reason. Kevin’s scream and run experiment reveals an element of engagement that I want to highlight. After each round, a new group of students would come over to the corner and ask the question, “What’s going on?” 


“What’s Going On?”

In doing hundreds of Blender Events for different groups around the world over the years, I’ve found that the question, “What’s going on?” is a tell tale sign that your actions are moving someone from a “Neutral” to a “1.” 

You made them curious enough to ask. You got them to go from “Meh to Hmm.” But it’s not just the question that matters. The tone of their voice when they ask “What’s going on?” also matters. When “Neutrals” ask this question, they tend to do so in a lower, almost disengaged, kind of way. It is as if they don’t want you to know that what you are doing has intrigued them. But it has! 

Closing the Deal

Be careful not to externally jump on this X+1 moment of victory and become a Scary Six by responding with too much energy. That will do more harm than good. Instead, respond with the energy level of a “1.” When your energy level is just one step above theirs, you can lead them further up the Engagement Pyramid. Inside, you can do a happy dance knowing that your efforts to increase engagement are working.

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